February 18, 2009
Dear Diary, San Francisco Sure Has Changed For Royal Real Estate…
As a plugged-in sleepiguy notes, 2601 Lyon is back on the MLS and listed for $6,399,500 (versus $8,250,000 last August). Once again, purchased for $5,750,000 in March of 2000 and "renovated throughout" its 4,126 square feet in 2002.
∙ Listing: 2601 Lyon (4/3) - $6,399,500 [MLS]
∙ A Shorter Set Of Lyon Street Steps (And A Few Numbers): 2601 Lyon [SocketSite]
First Published: February 18, 2009 12:15 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
The staging furniture in this place has a case of the uglies. Inappropriate for the house. This is not a downtown or SOMA condo
Posted by: lark at February 18, 2009 12:39 PM
There's a better, bigger house for sale on Filbert for 6 million which for my money is a better buy, not that I dislike this house or the awesome location. I'm still surprised this one sold for so much back in 2000. I think you'd be hard pressed to [sell] this one for over 5 today.
Posted by: sleepiguy at February 18, 2009 12:54 PM
Only 1 parking space...bummer.
Posted by: bob at February 18, 2009 1:26 PM
$1543 a square foot and no outdoor space out the back? No thanks, I'll take the downtown or SOMA condo!
Posted by: Smiling Millionaire at February 18, 2009 1:40 PM
Hmm, interesting. $5.75MM in 2000 and renovated. Now listed for $6.4MM. Can you make a case that we are at/near/below 2000 prices?
Posted by: Scott at February 18, 2009 1:49 PM
Open house this Sunday 2-4: should be a mad house. I've always wanted to see this place from the inside.
Surprised about $6M? I'm not - it's the ultimate trophy house in Cow Hollow - what an entrance! Nothing on Filbert would compare with that. Spectacular location. There is a national park for your back yard: someone else does the upkeep!
But it's clear that the market is tanking and so they will likely lose money on the sale. From 9 years ago! Wow!
Posted by: tipster at February 18, 2009 1:50 PM
"Can you make a case that we are at/near/below 2000 prices?"
No. One data point does not a market make. At best you might argue that general prices in pac heights are off 5 to 10% but even that's not definitive yet.
Posted by: diemos at February 18, 2009 1:59 PM
so much for a multi-million $ renovation... they could have thrown in a bidet or two
Posted by: asiagoSF at February 18, 2009 2:33 PM
this is getting close to value, maybe it sells at 4.75 mil , but i say it is close.
compared to recent posts on SS like the seacliffs 15 MM sfh, an absurd ask , and the 4 mm marked down to 3 MM in the castro, this seems like getting close to rationale--within the timeframe of the past 8 years.
considering location and basic curb appeal.
Posted by: Louis at February 18, 2009 2:46 PM
Where are you getting your data from? What are "general prices"? I would agree with you that it will get much worse than it is now, but I think we can safely say that prices have easily fallen more than 5%.
Posted by: dogboy at February 18, 2009 2:53 PM
It's part of a lovely group of stucco houses, mostly multi-unit buildings. They have a common alley/driveway in the back, and all have roof terraces, all similar design elements, but with plenty of variations, and all built in the 1920's.
One wonders how they (who ever built them) managed to knock a chunk out of the Presidio. They're tucked away in a quiet corner of San Francisco at the bottom of the Lyon Street steps.
Actually, a quiet and dark corner. The buildings only get morning light, cut off on the west and south by the steep hill.
Posted by: Rocco at February 18, 2009 3:04 PM
"Where are you getting your data from?"
For individual neighborhoods I use a combination of "apples" with zillow aggregates for individual zip codes. (Standard zillow disclaimer: no I don't pay attention to individual valuations, I don't even pay attention to the absolute values for the zip codes, but I do pay attention to changes in those aggregates. Especially when there are confirmatory apples.)
"What are "general prices"?"
Every house is a unique and precious snowflake. When you lump all the houses in a particular area together you get general prices, which may or may not be useful given heterogeneity of the data sample. (Works better for suburban subdivisions and SF condos where the product is more identical.)
"but I think we can safely say that prices have easily fallen more than 5%."
Not in Pac Heights. The southern and western neighborhoods and soma condos are down more than 5% but the "realSF" (R) is still holding well enough that I'm not ready to say its in decline.
Posted by: diemos at February 18, 2009 3:13 PM
Shady, cold and damp folks. Real damp.
Posted by: Jim at February 18, 2009 3:35 PM
diemos - are you saying that Pac Heights is still at the peak? Also, for the southern and western neighborhoods and SOMA condos, would your statement of "down more than 5%" allow for declines of 25-30%?
Posted by: FSBO at February 18, 2009 3:58 PM
"are you saying that Pac Heights is still at the peak?"
I'm saying it's not down enough to be able to rule out noise in the data.
"would your statement of "down more than 5%" allow for declines of 25-30%?"
Bayview, crocker-amazon, etc is off 25-30% by my estimates. Western neighborhoods off 15% or so.
Posted by: diemos at February 18, 2009 4:22 PM
@2k per sq ft this was a joke last time around. I still don't know where the parking for this house is located? $1500 per sq ft is a bit closer to reality and it is a pretty prestigious home. Hard to value this prestige IMO and it's not very private.
It's not a great comp but the SFH View Home on Green Street selling for under 1k/psf, plus the Broadway home in contract at just over 1k/psf with gold coast views / location make this a difficult sell at 1500 per sq ft. Personally, I love this home for a lot of reasons but $6.4 is a stretch. If a well healed buyer fell in love maybe. I think at $5M this place fly's off the shelf in a weekend. So perhaps somewhere in between.
123 Laurel is back on the market again after coming off for a few days???
Posted by: eddy at February 18, 2009 4:51 PM
Why does SocketSite post so many articles about extremely high-priced properties? If I wanted to look at this stuff, I'd watch Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, or MTV Cribs, or some other show where people can gawk at the places where obscene wealth and bad taste meet.
I'd like to see a much, much smaller percentage of posts relating to the mega-rich and the houses they buy and sell. While I realize SF is crawling with these people, they still don't represent the percentage of posts SocketSite devotes to their properties. I'd like to see more properties profiled that are relevant to normal people where "normal" still represents a very wide range of incomes in SF.
If you must profile ridiculous properties like this, do it in a separate blog so that people who like gawking at what they can never have can do it over there. SocketSite could be a much more useful and relevant resource than it currently is.
Posted by: Mordecai at February 18, 2009 7:30 PM
The staging furniture in this place has a case of the uglies. Inappropriate for the house. This is not a downtown or SOMA condo
Agreed. I don't know that much about interior decorating, but from the looks of it, neither does the staging contractor. I'd place Sheraton or Hepplewhite style furniture. It might not agree with what some viewers think of as "pretty", but it'd at least match the architecture.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at February 18, 2009 7:55 PM
Because it is obvious and boring now to look at "normal" houses in decline. Everyone now knows that is the case, even in SF. What is more interesting and informative is to see that NO ONE, and NO NEIGHBORHOOD and NO HOUSE is immune from the housing crash, and even the rich homeowners trying to sell will suffer through this decline.
Posted by: Smiling Millionaire at February 18, 2009 9:50 PM
At least all the reno that was done was done well. Ann Sacks, Waterworks. Nothing irritates me more than seeing people selling a house for 3M+ with mid price range fixtures.
Posted by: Juju at February 18, 2009 10:36 PM
Those aggregates mask the fact that only the properties in the very best condition/location/layout are selling. And they may be selling for 5% less than the *average* property sold for at the peak.
But stating that the very best is selling for X% over or under what the average property sold for at the peak doesn't seem like the proper analysis.
Almost every apple I've seen in 94115 and 94118 is off the peak for sure. 2155 Buchanan has been sitting at $50K UNDER its 2005 price.
Posted by: tipster at February 18, 2009 10:41 PM
"Western neighborhoods off 15% or so."
Posted by: anonn at February 18, 2009 10:48 PM
"2155 Buchanan has been sitting at $50K UNDER its 2005 price."
I'm waiting for some sales. No need to jump the gun.
I calls 'em like I sees 'em.
"Those aggregates mask the fact ..."
I'd rather have a Case-schiller broken down by zip code but I gotta work with what I got.
Posted by: diemos at February 19, 2009 5:27 AM
Mordecai, you should post up what you consider to be relevant to you. SS does cover quite a bit of range; but the reality is that there isn't a lot under $1M in SF that represents or demonstrates the price sways as much as higher end properties. Also, a lot of people think the wealthy, or at least those that 'own' homes over $2.5M are immune to this crisis. These type of posts unequivocally proves otherwise.
Plus, these high end homes are pretty fascinating. I'm always surprised that some of these homes are so extensively photographed. Nothing like spending $15M and having the whole world have a peek into your life in so much detail. Personally, I'd resist the temptation to take so many pics for the sake of privacy.
Posted by: eddy at February 19, 2009 8:19 AM
Because it would have no legs. 10-15 pans of anything in the sunset (for example) and then a dead thread.
"Is this real SF?"
"Only 2 sunny days"
"Why would you live here and not the suburbs"
"Who would buy this when you could rent it for 1/4 the price"
There isn't much interest on this blog for that kind of thing. Note that the responses to your post describe how what people want to see are how far expensive houses have dropped. It's what moves the needle.
Posted by: sparky-C at February 19, 2009 8:31 AM
My 2 cents on Mordecal's comment:
Yes the upper market does matter. How the top layers of the market do behave is symptomatic of what the whole market is going through.
The rationale behind high SF prices was the following:
1 - There are more and more wealthy families in SF. They all flock en masse to the City-by-the-Bay and have no cash flow issues. Therefore they can fly through any rough patch in the market.
2 - The upper middle class (by SF standards) will grab whatever crumbs the uber-rich have left. Anything a tiny bit short of perfect.
3 - The mass of the middle class will have to overbid themselves into becoming house-poor in so-so neighborhoods. Say a 800K condo with a 120K salary or a 1.5M house on 200K. Yes, my definition of middle class is SF-centric.
4 - The lower class would be kicked out of the poor nabes due to unaffordable housing or will keep on renting.
Now, to be sure, this "virtuous circle" of ever increasing prices has been valid for a long time. Maybe 10 years or so. And apparent societal changes in SF seemed to prove this rationale. Many places went from working class to middle class (BH, Potrero) while others went from middle to upper-middle (Noe). And it all relied on the gigantic suction effect from the beneficiaries of the "trickle-up economics".
If the upper crust crumbles, this machine will have no more suction and severe repricing will ensue.
Any data point that shows how this segment fares is worthy of public dissection.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at February 19, 2009 9:20 AM
I agree with Fronzi's analysis, only I think the significance of the upper end crumbling and the trickling down is it establishes that the cause of the top-to-bottom run-up in SF prices was easy credit and no-doc, no-down loans, not some other factor such as an influx of trustafarians, etc. as has been oft-touted.
Posted by: Trip at February 19, 2009 10:02 AM
Inflation and wage / salary compression will be the ultimate knife in the back of housing prices at all levels, and will hit SF especially hard. We're still 12-18 months from those impacts being felt if they are occurring now, which I suspect they are...
It seems clear that laid off workers are going to be accepting a new reality of salary expectations as they re-enter the workforce as supply/demand works on salary levels as well. Once the new salary base starts to trickle down the 'still employed' in for form of 0% raises, and lower bonuses -- there will be an major reconciliation on many product & asset classes. These things will certainly take some time to unfold, and will take even longer to impact the housing market. I simply don't see any improvement in the housing sector on the near term horizon.
The foreclosure plan is simply a slowdown of the inevitable. It cold work if there was a chance of a broader economic recovery; but those chances seem slim right now. This plan would have been much more helpful if executed before Oct 2008 when there was still mass-ignorance of the global economic problems.
But hey, there's never been a better time to be a buyer. ;-)
Posted by: eddy at February 19, 2009 10:23 AM
"But hey, there's never been a better time to be a buyer. ;-"
Yes, there has, and yes there will. Give the knife catchers a time to bleed, and 1-2 years from now things will be looking pretty good for buyers in ALL SF neighborhoods.
Posted by: Smiling Millionaire at February 19, 2009 11:24 AM
SM -- you're aware that I was being sarcastic about the never better..... comment?
Posted by: eddy at February 19, 2009 11:52 AM
OK, sorry, must have read it too quick. You just never know on this site!
Posted by: Smiling Millionaire at February 19, 2009 12:34 PM
So $6 million for this one, or 1188 Lombard...
such choices these days...
Posted by: Geo at February 20, 2009 9:53 AM
Anyway, the new owners can always rent out the space to a famous director and it can be the backdrop for a famous movie about someone, well "famous."
Posted by: Mr Mogul at February 20, 2009 6:52 PM
I just came from the open house. It's very nice, but not as over the top as the entrance. I could see $1300 psf, but $1543 seems too high for the market. On the other hand, it's a trophy house in a top location, and really well done.
The open house was not mobbed like I thought it would be. Maybe the light rain.
Posted by: tipster at February 22, 2009 3:12 PM
I gotta say, for a house that looks "period" on the outside, whomever did the staging did a great job at infusing the old with the new. Not too stuffy but fussy enough for this price-point/style of home. Well done!!!!
Posted by: CSM at February 26, 2009 6:16 PM
The sale of 2601 Lyon closed escrow today, unfortunately with what appears to be a "confidential" sales price (at least as reported on the MLS).
Posted by: SocketSite at June 25, 2009 11:09 AM
Hey... at least it sold! I'm actually surprised by the number of 6 millionish homes actually selling in D7... There are some really great buys out there right now. 2626 Green for 4.5!! What did the Webster house sell for? Anyone know?
Posted by: sleepiguy at June 25, 2009 11:37 AM
Sold price $5.7M per PropertyShark
Posted by: eddy at April 6, 2010 5:31 AM