In December we featured a mid-floor three bedroom, three bath at the St. Regis with a view of One Rincon asking $11,950 a month and a high-floor two bedroom, two bath at One Rincon with a view of the Bay Bridge for fifty bucks more ($12,000 a month).
Today it’s another three-bedroom at the St. Regis seeking $12,000 a month, and as a tipster notes, that same high-floor two-bedroom at One Rincon Hill now asking $7,350.
The Relative Value Of Two High-Rise Rentals Around $12,000 A Month [SocketSite]
$12000 / 3br – Luxury 3 bed 3 bath – St. Regis Residences [Craigslist]
$7350 / 2br – LUXURY PENTHOUSE SUITE [Craigslist]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Paul Hwang

    In the last month I rented out at Rincon:
    1) High Floor 1449 sf 2 br + Den $7000 / month
    2) High Floor 1265 sf 2 br $7000 / month
    Before you ask and flame; I cannot give out names, pictures, ss#, etc.

  2. Posted by jj

    Speaking of relative value, the first millennium rental on the market is going for $8300:
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1138552561.html
    5401 at ORH, one of Paul’s listing, still has no taker at $4200 after months on the market. If that is not a high floor, I don’t know what is.

  3. Posted by Nick

    The Millennium sales office are also renting some units directly. The prices are quite reasonable and they have some pretty large units up there if you want them.

  4. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Since, you bring it up, One Rincon Hill 5401 is a great deal! 2 br 2 ba with Bay Bridge Views.
    Here is the link to pics and a floorplan.
    http://skyboxrealty.com/property_detail.php?property_ID=12

  5. Posted by Gabe

    Paul Hwang is a tool.
    He misrepresented showing times on an open house this past weekend and didn’t have the decency to show us the unit himself. Instead, he complained of people coming in towards the close of the showing time and had to have his associate cover for him.
    I will NOT be doing business with Paul Hwang!

  6. Posted by flaneur

    What this boils down to is: Location, location, location.

  7. Posted by tipster

    Paul,
    You mention in the listing for 5401 that it can be furnished and maid service can be included, for an additional fee. I assume that both of those added amenities were true for the ones you rented for $7000?

  8. Posted by chuckie

    So does anyone else find himself wondering about the dichotomy in Paul’s anecdote and the reality of his “great deal”?

  9. Posted by flaneur

    Yes, indeed. That’s what makes Socketsite such a great read.

  10. Posted by Rincon Hill Billy

    Sorry Paul, I’m rooting for you (believe me), but furnished corporate rentals don’t count.

  11. Posted by Rincon Hill Billy

    Wow…according to the pictures on the listing posted for the Millenium rental…the finishes don’t look so great.
    Maybe this super luxury building was over-hyped.

  12. Posted by flaneur

    Not sure I agree with you. It’s a beautiful space…

  13. Posted by ex SF-er

    I agree that the Millenium pics don’t make a case for $12k/mo.
    Paul:
    were your $7k/mo rentals furnished and short term lease (in other words, corporate housing?) or were they unfurnished and 1+ year leases?
    it seems odd that your clients would pay so much for housing when you yourself have listings for $4200/mo (2br, 54th floor) and $6000 (2 BR, 50th floor, Bay bridge view).
    regardless:
    this thread highlights why we have to be careful monitoring asking rents (and asking prices) in a down market. Many of these askin prices are chosen by what the owner “needs” to get out whole or make a profit, but they’re just wishing prices.

  14. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Gabe,
    If you are referring to the Infinity, I never spoke to you so I don’t know what “complaining” you are talking about. It was 4:45 PM I believe, and I was happy to show you the unit, but Mark wanted to keep talking to you and asked to show the unit, so I said OK.
    Paul

  15. Posted by Paul Hwang

    One was furnsihed and the other was an insurance deal (i.e. insurance pays).

  16. Posted by jj

    Don’t bother asking. Those $7000 units at ORH don’t exist. Think about it. A beautiful 1600 sf unit on the 58th sits for 6 mo at $7350 and so does $4200 unit. Meanwhile, Paul magically rented out $7000 units in a month, two of them no less. Anybody seen the ad for either of them, raise your hand.

  17. Posted by chuckie

    Here’s another unit at Rincon from Craigslist:
    “$4350 / 2br – MAY Special – Furnished -Rincon Hill 2/2 – Stunning Views”
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1139843003.html

  18. Posted by Dakota

    The Millenium unit listed is $8,300/month. But that’s still a high price considering it’s a near ground level unit.

  19. Posted by frisson

    Visited the finished product of Millennium Tower on Saturday. Common area and unit finishes are first class. Nearly unrivaled with the exception of Four Seasons and St. Regis.
    Millennium Tower is truly a super-luxury development. No doubt.
    Please do not mention One Rincon and Infinity in the same sentence as Millennium again.

  20. Posted by Paul Hwang

    jj,
    They do exist.
    It’s curious how Socketsite asks for information, and then when you provide it, and all kinds of stuff comes out!
    Paul

  21. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Wow. Rents must be SCREAMING again!
    And I agree with Rincon Hill Billy. Visiting Millenium left me generally underwhelmed. Nice building for sure – I can’t knock it. Just not worth the premium over ORH/Infinity, at least from what I saw.

  22. Posted by salarywoman

    “Visited the finished product of Millennium Tower on Saturday. Common area and unit finishes are first class. Nearly unrivaled with the exception of Four Seasons and St. Regis.”
    I’ve visited both Four Seasons and St. Regis and been totally underwhelmed by unit finishes, especially at Four Seasons. My guess is that the developer expected residents to rip it all out and install their own.
    Millennium finishes vary by building and floor. The pictured unit is a low floor in the main tower and has the lowest grade of finish. For 8,000 a month you can find places with better finishes and much, much better views at a host of SF residential buildings. I suppose the owner is trying to capitalize on the Millenium’s snob appeal. Good luck! Especially with that iceberg thing (anyone know what it is?) just outside the LR windows.

  23. Posted by jj

    Paul, nobody asked for it. You gratuitously offered, presumably to say that high end rental is alive and well. It is not.
    Since you mention, I’ll ask: what are the unit numbers? They aren’t confidential since they must’ve been advertised, are they?

  24. Posted by Ryan

    Is it just me or is the unit for rent at the Millennium a terrible unit for way too much money per month?

  25. Posted by Paul Hwang

    jj,
    I don’t imply, assume or make random conclusions like you. I give facts.
    I’ll pass on giving out people’s unit numbers.
    Paul

  26. Posted by Sb

    Paul, your “facts” are highly suspect, especially since they’re not consistent with your other listings. Even if they’re fairly real (i.e. not sweetheart corporate deals), they’re obviously outliers.
    What was your motive for posting them again?

  27. Posted by Dakota

    Isn’t it illegal to publicize false sale or rental prices to artificially inflate the market? If it’s not, it should be.

  28. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Socketsite is really starting to go down hill.
    I was probably lucky on those 2, but they are real, and they did happen within the last month.
    The reason I posted was because I thought this thread was about high end rentals in South Beach.

  29. Posted by 45yo hipster

    gabe @ 9:56, is that you?!? did you rent last year such-and-such flat in bernal heights from such-and-such landlord? (i’m guessing that i’m right!)
    p.s. i think i also spotted you on yelp…keep hittin’ those tonayense tacos bro!

  30. Posted by viewlover

    the unit for 4200 does not have outdoor space and is smaller than the other 2 bedrooms in that building. I’m not sure if that makes up the difference, but the larger size and outdoor space plus a high floor are benefits some renters/buyers are willing to pay extra for.

  31. Posted by nonanon

    “Socketsite is really starting to go down hill.”
    Translation: “Thanks to Socketsite it’s getting harder and harder for us to BS renters/buyers in this market.”

  32. Posted by anon

    I’ve worked with Paul a few times. Unlike alot of other real estate agents he’s an honest guy and a straight shooter. If he says he rented those units out, I’m pretty sure he did. And asking him to provide unit numbers, etc. is ridiculous.

  33. Posted by Paul Hwang

    nonanon,
    Excellent example.

  34. Posted by anon

    And from now on, please accept everything Paul says as the truth. I’ll stand behind his words, or my name is not anon.

  35. Posted by A Nobody

    Paul, with all due respect – I usually appreciate hearing from realtors and agents to balance out the viewpoints, but to say you simply give facts is a little unfair to those of us who are trying to stay impartial. You gave facts designed to elicit response, namely that you rented out 2 units for $7K without giving any additional details, even knowing those were relevant. I am sure you knew that a furnished unit and an insurance scenario were relevant facts to the rental value, right? If you had mentioned those facts in your original post, I would have found it informative and useful and ultimately more compelling. I don’t have an axe to grind here; I just felt misled because my first instinct upon reading all the criticisms was to think, give him a break, until you acknowledged you did indeed leave out facts that you later on disclosed upon being pressed about the issue.
    I think you’re absolutely right not to disclose unit numbers and other info, but declining to mention that one unit was furnished is misleading and ultimately damaged your credibility for me. Not that that matters – I’m nobody, really, and I’m sure you won’t lose sleep over it. But I do think I represent a typical view when I say that putting out facts like “I just did this” without including relevant details is almost as misleading as stating an incorrect data point. Some times not disclosing something until later really can be less persuasive than disclosing it at the outset.
    Peace, from just a random nobody reader.

  36. Posted by ex SF-er

    And asking him to provide unit numbers, etc. is ridiculous.
    perhaps. but it is not rediculous to ask whether or not these were furnished corporate rentals.
    corporate rental is a distinct submarket from regular rental. not sure renting out 2 units to corporate interests has much to do with the overall SoMa rental market, especially if those 2 units were rented by the same corporation!
    Paul did volunteer the info. I have a hard time believing it’s a violation to say
    “I rented out 2 units for $7,000 to a corporation for short term useage”
    it surely can’t be any more of a violation than saying “there were 42 offers on this house!”
    I don’t disbelieve Paul. But I’m also unsure that that these are “apples” rentals.
    his other listings are on levels 50 and 54, and the 50th floor unit does have outdoor space and a view.
    hard to believe not one, but 2 people paid $1k/month more for a unit that’s barely higher up. (the building is only 60 floors… I am routinely in the 50’s when I’m in ORH, and can assure you there is little to no difference in view between floor 54 and floor 58.
    unless he rented the penthouses???? maybe that’s the mystery. if so, that’s pretty cheap for the penthouse. my friends in that building pay >$6k/month in mortgage for a 1BR unit well below the penthouse.

  37. Posted by spencer

    great friend just rented a “teen” something floor (16-19 i think) infiniti 2 bdroom for $3900 by signing a 2yr lease

  38. Posted by Legacy Dude

    “my friends in that building pay >$6k/month in mortgage for a 1BR unit well below the penthouse.”
    OUCH!!
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1138156534.html

  39. Posted by NoeNeighbor

    I really don’t understand why people are ragging on Paul. What a bunch of whiners.

  40. Posted by scurvy

    I still think that the easiest way to drive down rental prices is to force a publicly listed time and sales of every rental unit in SF. It will shed some light on the difference between free-to-place, nothing-to-lose superhigh Craigslist rents and the actual rents.

  41. Posted by Willow

    Ouch indeed! ex SF-er, you could at least counsel your friends to cut their losses and sell. That monthly cost is more than double the equivalent rental cost. (Lets not even talk about the dollars sunk into the downpayment.) (Add in the HOA and I would want to jump off the balcony.)

  42. Posted by Paul Hwang

    They are not rented to corporations.
    They are not short term rentals (i.e. Less than 6 months).
    They do not include prostitutes and cocaine.
    I have not turned to the dark side of the force.

  43. Posted by wubluh

    LOLtastic.
    Paul, keep ‘em coming. I’d counsel you to change to “hookers and blow” to underscore the shock value.

  44. Posted by ex SF-er

    Ouch indeed! ex SF-er, you could at least counsel your friends to cut their losses and sell.
    it’s my best friend in the world, my non-sexual soul mate.
    I had intense discussions with my friends prior to them purchasing, I talked about it here on SS at the time (3 sets of my friends put contracts down… 2 of them closed). at the time, I told them all of my reasons why SF RE would come under pressure, including the impending recession (this was back in summer 2007)
    they felt that “it’s different in SF”. I heard that a lot back then, I even still hear it. they also felt it would be different with ORH as it would be the next great landmark of San Francisco. and besides, they assured me they would love to live there for the long term. so they bought and I just decided that I’d be happy for them.
    they already realize it was a horrible financial decision. they have transitioned to the “well, we’ll just hold it for a few years then sell” mindset. this of course is diametrically opposite to the “we’re buying this as a home” they talked about just last year.
    if I brought it up now it would simply be rude, kind of a “I told you so” sort of thing. I am very very close to them, and could easily tell them these things… but what’s the point?
    as it is, they realize their mistake, it has been a very very very costly mistake. but they’re the types of people that need to learn by doing… I’m reserving my friend ammunition for other matters since unsurprisingly the mortgage has put a strain on their lives… they’re part of the “rich” 200k-ers I keep hearing about
    (they just barely make 200k)
    there are more important things than money!

  45. Posted by Willow

    ex-SF-er: I was only kidding…While it may be hard to bite your tongue it is the best thing to do even if it means your friends losing so much money. They will eventually come around. It’s difficult to walk if you have put down a substantial down payment.

  46. Posted by jeff

    I too had Paul Hwang flake on showing me a unit. He had the doorman let me in instead and left the door unlocked without ever showing his face.
    A true professional.

  47. Posted by jj

    Outdoor space in ORH is irrelevant because they are useless, thanks to the freeway and wind. And a large high floor unit can be had for $4500:
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1142610688.html
    Even that one has been on the market for months.
    At least Hank Plante’s 42 offers had address attached to it, like this one:
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1141812654.html
    Paul’s $7000, on the other hand…

  48. Posted by 45yo hipster

    ^ gavin (the other one) listing agent gavin coombs. Is that dude a bit of a crackpot or what? His CR ads sure ate colorful, and whenever I post a rental I aleays get an email from him posing as a potential renter, alas it’s only a solicitation to list with him. Its like duh Gavin, I can throw an ad up on CL just like you can…

  49. Posted by LOL

    Wow, so I guess a couple of renters decided to go in blind and overpay a couple of grand a month for a long term rental that their companies don’t pay for. I find it very hard to believe, but I guess they are the fools and some “expert” made some extra cash. If I were a salesperson, the last thing I would do is discuss (brag) about my recent sales or rentals on a real estate blog and use my name. I guess any exposure is good exposure.

  50. Posted by viewlover

    great post LOL, I had mine deleted once so I wasnt gonna say anything. LOL.

  51. Posted by chuckie

    Paul wrote, “Socketsite is really starting to go down hill.”
    That’s precious coming from you, Paul. Aren’t you the same guy who has posted gems like “Many experts have predicted a flat to slightly downward trend for prices in 2009″ and “Infinity is hot, hot, hot!” in recent days?
    “I was probably lucky on those 2, but they are real, and they did happen within the last month.”
    IMO they are more likely lies, and at the very least half truths, that have been exposed.

  52. Posted by Paul Hwang

    chuckie,
    I think it best to ignore u from now on.
    Good luck with your life.
    Paul

  53. Posted by justme

    Wwwrrowrrrr.
    I didn’t know this was a pet friendly blog. It must be judging from how catty it’s getting in here.

  54. Posted by Sb

    Paul, your statement just doesn’t add up. You realize this, no?
    Why are your clients very happy to pay at least 1-2K higher than comparable units? I’m sure there’s a reason. Without that information, however, there’s absolutely no way for anybody to determine if you really are talking about high end rentals in South Beach as you claim, or if this is just a sleazy sales tactic.
    You seem like a good guy, it’s unlikely you’re being sleazy. But how can one tell?

  55. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Sb,
    I’m represnting the owners of the property, the tennants were brought in by two different agents.
    I’m not representing the tenants.
    I don’t think its prudent to give out anymore information, really I probably gave out too much already. I mean if you were paying $10k / month at 123 main street, wouldn’t you be pissed if some realtor blogged out your life story? You have to respect people’s privacy.
    Paul

  56. Posted by chuckie

    Facts:5401 ORH, you haven’t been able to rent it for $4900 a month. Now you are trying to rent it for $4200 a month.
    If you rented 2 units for $7000 each within last one month, why would you drop the asking rent to 4200?
    Why would the asking rent on a 1600 sq ft luxury penthouse unit at ORH be $7350?
    Like I said, IMO you are very likely telling a lie, and at the very least, telling half truths.
    Again, aren’t you the same guy who has posted “Many experts have predicted a flat to slightly downward trend for prices in 2009″ and “Infinity is hot, hot, hot!” in recent days?

  57. Posted by RL

    chuckie, move on. you sound like an obsessed stalker. leave it alone.

  58. Posted by chuckie

    I don’t know why the guy just bugs the hell out of me. He posts these little ads and all kinds of other meaningless stuff. When someone asks him a simple question, he posts even more meaningless platitudes.
    A lot of guys that post here bring so much insight and value without asking for or seeking anything in return.
    I think it’s just so disrespectful what he does.

  59. Posted by SFSal

    Agree with chuckie. Paul rarely posts anything of value and fails to respond when challenged on substance. Presenting his two rentals without mentioning one was fully furnished and the other was being rented by an insurance company was misleading. Getting pissy when challenged was childish.

  60. Posted by tipster

    Ah, you folks are angry because you haven’t realized that it’s the game. The realtor states that he just rented out two units for $7000.
    The idiots’ response is, and has been, [shrug] I guess I have to pay $7000.
    Note my response: “I assume that you are withholding information that would in fact make it clear that these are not market prices for unfurnished rentals at One Rincon.” Which I said slightly differently: “I assume these were furnished.”
    No need to get angry about it, that’s just the game. I call the game “Separate stupid people from their money and earn a higher commission.” Not all realtors play it, but many do. And as long as there are enough stupid people, you can win at the game if you are a realtor.
    No need to get angry about it: that’s just the game. You provide just enough information, but withhold the remainder of the information. I have no doubt that the $7000 number is true. That’s part of the game: you can manipulate the numbers til the cows come home (by throwing in all sorts of extras) but you never lie, so that way, the rubes can never catch you.
    This is just one giant con game. That’s all its ever been. When the banks stopped being the intelligent ones and loaned money to anyone, the stupid people (and the clever people) took over and set the prices.
    You aren’t ever going to change the game. That’s just how its played. Its more effective at some times rather than others, but that’s the system and you can work with it or not. Stop getting so angry about it. Getting angry isn’t going to do you any good at all.

  61. Posted by Bay Area Native

    I have seen Paul’s 7k ORH listings last month on CL. So what if it was furnished or if it was rented out to an insurance company? The bottom line is if he is able to rent out those units at those prices, props to him. Of course, he wants to rent out 5401 at the highest price. Sometimes it just depends on luck and timing. Perhaps all the ORH owners are upset because they wished they could have rented their units out for 7k.
    “A lot of guys that post here bring so much insight and value without asking for or seeking anything in return.”
    You’re kidding right? I mainly come here to get a good laugh.

  62. Posted by Mole Man

    The One Rincon open space is actually quite nice. The bulk of the tower protects it from the freeway and the wind doesn’t blow strongly on it. That could potentially change when other towers there or up the street change the wind patterns. Hearing someone complain about it makes me think they haven’t actually made any direct observations. But here direct observations might just part of a game, so what does it matter anyway?

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