August 16, 2013
The Three Most Expensive Homes In Noe Valley
Sitting on a double lot and remodeled in 2004 with four levels of living space, high end finishes throughout, and a lighted sports court behind, the Noe Valley home at 651 29th Street sold for $5,250,000 this week having been listed for $4,995,000 in July, making it the third most expensive home to have ever traded hands in Noe.
The second most expensive home to have ever sold in Noe is 625 Duncan which was built as a spec home and traded for $5,818,000 in 2008, $432,000 under asking at the time.
And as plugged-in people know, the most expensive home in Noe Valley remains 526 Duncan, the modern "T House" which a former Google engineer sold for $6,100,000 in 2011 to a former Facebook engineer turned angel investor who paid $300,000 under list.
First Published: August 16, 2013 4:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Wow. That house doesn't seem like a five million dollar house, not by a long shot. And that ball court is just kinda gross. I don't get it.
Posted by: curmudgeon at August 16, 2013 5:30 PM
When you start talking +5 million it is astonishing what types or properties are available outside the 7 x 7. Who would have ever thought Noe Valley properties could exceed the sales cost of a waterfront PGA golf course adjacent gated 4 bedroom home in Kapalua Maui or a 4.5 acre hilltop estate in Ross?
The same goes for 4 bedroom home on "Little" Balboa Island with yacht slip (Newport Beach- Little Balboa has the private water frontage vs. "big Balboa), or even the recently sold AIA award winning Bridgeway in Sausalito. (4.998m).
Of course San Francisco is one of the great cities of the world, but we are talking about Noe Valley, a neighborhood I hardly would have imagined would now be priced with some of the most spectacular settings in the world and some of the most expensive urban neighborhoods.
Posted by: astonished at August 17, 2013 6:21 AM
Astonished is right to be astonished. At $5m one can still buy a fine apartment with a view in the best arrondissements in Paris, or one on the upper east side of NY, or in a good central London street. Or closer to home, perhaps even a house in Pacific Heights?
The question is whether these prices are sustainable in Noe Valley when the next recession hits.
Posted by: conifer at August 17, 2013 10:52 AM
The weather in noe and community strength along with its proximity to the south and mission make it unique. These prices are usually reserved for homes with views. But Noe is bumping up with the best of D7 prices of the past decade. Noe lacks the massive lots and mansions that D7 has so those that have the resources and Noe fever are left with few choices for "prime".
One of the flaws of my manhattanization trend is that Wall Street consistany churns out wealth year in and year out over many decades. What is yet to be determined is whether the wealth creation here is long term sustainable. Or if its a one time 10-15 year phenomenon. Jury still out.
Posted by: Eddy at August 17, 2013 5:00 PM
This site is full of people who won't, can't, refuse to, you name it, understand that the city gentrified southward, and for understandable reasons. Jeez folks. Eembrace the 2010s, already. Tipster, Dude, Spenser, and satcheldoofus had it wrong.
Posted by: Anon at August 17, 2013 8:29 PM
Noe Valley was gentrifying (and likewise the city, as you say: "Southward") in the 1970's, people. And in the 80's. And in the 90's.
However, what we are experiencing lately is not old-fashioned gentrification. Its hyper-gentrification.
I.E. a massive upward pricing pressure on real estate in San Francisco and along the Peninsula that is vastly choking and distorting the quality of life here, and at extraordinary speed. We will have squeegeed out every outlier of life by the end of this decade. By outlier I mean anyone who for whatever reason has some other lot in life that that of being able to afford ultra-expensive everything.
Parking. Water. Power. Lodging. Food. Everything.
You heard it here 1st. Soylent Green is made... of money.
Posted by: $AN FRANCI$CO at August 18, 2013 12:08 AM
We need a new word. "Gentrification" just doesn't cut it. Those prices are beyond the gentry. Aristocracification (which, if nothing else, is kinda fun to say)?
Posted by: BobN at August 18, 2013 8:34 AM
One of the flaws of my manhattanization trend is that Wall Street consistany churns out wealth year in and year out over many decades. What is yet to be determined is whether the wealth creation here is long term sustainable.Yep. Btw, glad people are finally coming out and admitting that Manhattanization is what's at work here.
Just wanted to point out, however, that people who live in Manhattan and work on Wall Street are paying much, much higher taxes, both on real estate and personal income, than any equivalent worker in S.F. in whatever industry you care to point to as the source of "wealth creation here".
And of course in New York there's no Prop. 13.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at August 18, 2013 4:17 PM
I thought "Manhattanization" meant building lots of tall buildings:
That is not what is going on in Noe. We should be building more density here, but mostly that is not happening.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 18, 2013 5:21 PM
Going back to manhattanization ( in definition the way Eddy and Brahma were discussing), I think the question Eddy raises of when you are charging upper East/West side prices, will the Tech industry create as much wealth long term as Wall Street has over many decades, or will Tech move on and change within another 15 years?
As Conifer points out, at +5 million you are living in better streets of London, Paris and New York, yet I wonder, is living in little Noe Valley really as wonderful as the 9th arrondissement ? I think we have reached price levels where some old timers with paid off homes realize they can now sell and retire to almost anywhere they have ever dreamed of in the world.
Along with our home in 94123, my partner still owns (and rents out) his home in Noe Valley. We have been discussing that the sale of the Noe property could provide a very nice vacation home in Palm Springs and a condo in Tahoe with a good chunk of money left over.
Posted by: DreamingOfPalms at August 18, 2013 6:15 PM
Not just the 9e arrondissement, which is hip but "has many theaters" as some of our friends from old French families say.
One could buy in the 7e, and even perhaps in the 1er overlooking the Tuileries on the rue de Rivoli.
It is possible that I am wrong, and the economies of the world have changed permanently so that Noe Valley is becoming more valuable than the 6e and 7e arrondissements and Park Avenue and Cadogan Square.
But I doubt it.
Posted by: conifer at August 18, 2013 7:17 PM
@conifer. I just looked at listings online and you could spend less than these Noe listings on a large listed period townhouse apartment in the Palais Royal overlooking the garden! It doesn't get more Paris than that!
24th street is no Rue de Rivoli or Place Vendome, that's for sure!
Posted by: Anon at August 18, 2013 7:43 PM
Amecodtally, at the parks and playgrounds of Noe V I've met many, many more people than ever before who have moved here from NY in the past year or two.
As I say, pure anecdote, but doe fall in to the Manhattanization trend...
Posted by: REpornaddict at August 18, 2013 9:22 PM
Well, I've lived and owned in Noe now for 30 years, so I know what's going on. and I live near the first property in the topic here, and it's a huge house, amazing views, south yard and on the corner of a quiet little street, Zircon.
Just go over to the Farmer's Market on any Saturday morning, as well as on 24th St. the market is packed, the street is crowded: tons of Euro baby strollers, young well to do couples, lots of Volvos, Beemers, more than one Tesla roaming around for a parking place.
And you wonder why Noe is bumping up around D-7.
Posted by: Futurist at August 18, 2013 9:55 PM
Those views are not amazing. Sorry, they're simply not. This property is not about the views. Noe has amazing view places here and there, but not on 29th st. Surprising that you quite obviously didn't view it in person, futurist. It was one to see.
Posted by: Anon at August 18, 2013 10:09 PM
Why all the hand-wringing over Noe? The Marina has +$5M sales all the time and they don't cause posters to go all florid with comparisons with Paris. Bizarre.
I would much rather have one of these properties than one on Marina Boulevard, which will be underwater in 50-100 years and has land that will liquify in the next earthquake.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 18, 2013 10:12 PM
I've been in the house several times, including before it was remodeled, during and after construction. I walk that block as well.
My ideas of amazing views are just different than yours, ok?
Posted by: Futurist at August 18, 2013 10:19 PM
One poster compared the economic scene in the Bay Area with that in the Paris Metropolitan area.
In one sense there is no comparison between Paris and San Francisco. Paris is architecturally, artistically and culturally superior to San Francisco in every way. Even in food and wine, areas that the Bay Area shines, I would personally give the nod to the Paris region.
But economically, The Bay Area is very much a rival and I think in many ways superior to the Paris Metro. How many Fortune 500 companies have been started in each over the last 50 years? I am pretty sure more have started here.
Where would you rather launch your start-up?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 18, 2013 10:36 PM
The Bay Area is a better place for business because socialist crazies do not regulate the labor market here, as they do in France. You can hire and fire whomever you want, as long as you don't have a union.
On the other hand, if you want to buy two (or more) big apartments and merge them into an even bigger one, no one in Paris will tell you that "dwelling unit mergers" are forbidden or even discouraged. Indeed, if you own them both you may do it at will, assuming your building copropriete has no objections; they almost never do.
The SF socialists want to make homeowners and even the smallest landlords suffer, where the socialists in Paris pick on businesses. At least the Paris government chooses to fight those who are better able to defend themselves.
Posted by: conifer at August 19, 2013 12:32 AM
"Where would you rather launch your start up."
Uh, one does not live in Paris to launch a start up. One lives in Paris so that you can enjoy Paris. Likewise, excluding the gold rush and now, there was a period of time when people moved to San Francisco just to be in and enjoy San Francisco. I think the start up comment explains why the city has lost the culture and characters that created it. A city full of people running around trying to create the next start up is a culturally boring place, which may explain why my friends in the Arts have almost all moved down to L.A.
Posted by: Anon2 at August 19, 2013 4:01 AM
Typical Old Money snobbery. Winners of the lucky sperm club think they are somehow superior to those who actually made their own money.
Noe is valuable because it gives you access to labor markets and social networks that are valuable. Homes near high value labor markets are worth more, period. Should San Francisco home prices rival Manhattan? Doubtful, but that is what home prices are telling us now.
As a long term investment, I would rather own a home on the Upper East Side or a brownstone in Park Slope. I think Noe has gotten ahead of itself. But that doesn't mean that I will be selling my place anytime soon.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 19, 2013 8:04 AM
@NoeValleyJim, who are you talking about with your typical insults? I'm self made, put myself through university, and did not get any help from family for the purchase of my home or rental units.
Now- If you cannot see the difference between someone who moves to a unique city like San Francisco because they fall in love with it, vs someone who moves here because it is where the "start ups" are, I give up. I am always astonished at how much "money" is now the topic of conversation in various places and events I attend. I never used to remember San Franciscans making "money" the whole reason for their wanting to live here until recently. I do still have a core group of friends who like me just LOVE the Bay Area and Northern California, and it has nothing to do with the money here.
Posted by: anon2 at August 19, 2013 10:21 AM
You don't even know the history of your own city very well. Wave after wave of San Franciscans have come here seeking riches. Not just in 1849 and today. You don't even know about the 99'ers, the first wave of Dot Commers!
You don't see the irony of claiming that you are "self-made" and complaining about "money" is the topic of conversation? I seriously doubt your claims at being self-made. How much money do your parents have? Wealthy people tend to grow up with every advantage and are completely clueless about it.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 19, 2013 10:38 AM
Where did you go to High School anon2?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 19, 2013 10:43 AM
All bickering aside, you two are somewhat agreeing. Much of these prices reflect the perceived investment value of these houses. Either for appreciation of the house or via regional business opportunities. These prices aren't reflecting the desirability of living here.
Old money is part of it, but it's really people who have money vs people who are trying to make money. The poster above who talked about old time retirees is most right. Once you are retired you don't care about start ups, labor markets or social networks.
Posted by: anon3 at August 19, 2013 11:21 AM
Not to mention that SF lost about 100,000 people between 1950s and 1980s.
Generally the only people moving to a city because of it's beauty or culture are the rich and the retired. The rest (the vast majority) have to work, so generally move because of economic opportunity. There are some exceptions, and there are also other factors in the decision, but opportunity is usually number one.
Now, when speaking specifically of techies, the culture of SF is probably a bigger factor for them than pay, at least as compared to others moving to SF. Most techies can be paid the same, or slightly better, in the South Bay, get more bang for the when it comes to housing, get warmer weather, and often get better schools for those of us with school age children. So any techie choosing to live in SF is almost certainly doing it because they prefer the beauty or the culture of SF.
Posted by: lyqwyd at August 19, 2013 11:32 AM
Which is where the irony lies, because the tech money prices out other elements making the city's culture worth living in.
But for me personally it is important to take the good with the bad. Bad = every type of business other than fad, BS restaurant being dislocated from Valencia. Good = renovated parks, museums, and other public spaces.
Where this leads is anyone's guess, and I'm not certain how relevant to the equation $5+ million homes are. More of a concern are $2,500+/month studios, $1,000+/sqft condos, and commercial space only affordable to purveyors of the monoculture. I guess these would be considered in my bad category, which is why they generate so much conversation here.
Posted by: rabbits at August 19, 2013 12:02 PM
I live in Outer Noe and was shocked by the two factors combined:
1) This place sold above list
2) It closed fast (seemed less than 21 days). I assume they buyer paid all cash to close so fast.
Was the attractiveness of this house the double lot? It didnt seem like a $5mm+ house to me or a great location with views...
I assume the buyer is going to extensively remodel the house or build something much larger?
I would rather buy 313 duncan and have $2mm left over but maybe that why i cant afford a $5mm house...
Posted by: chad n. freud at August 19, 2013 12:22 PM
I'm not really sure what you are saying... It sounds like you are saying tech workers are driving out all businesses except restaurants on Valencia, but also responsible for renovating parks, museums, & public spaces. Am I reading your comment correctly?
Posted by: lyqwyd at August 19, 2013 1:55 PM
Sort of. I'm not sure to what extent, if any, the tech boom is responsible for the improvements to the City I most like (Dolores/Koret playgrounds, more and better bike lanes, Sunday streets, etc). I suspect not much, although the museums are a different matter.
But I do know that the tech boom and attending sky high real estate is filling the City with a different type of person than when I moved here 10 years ago. For better or worse, who knows. It is also pricing out small businesses. On balance for me the changes have been positive, so I'm still here, but I do wonder when we reach the point that the things making SF unique are diluted to the point of extinction. We may be the boiling frog right now.
And I have to admit, I feel strange taking this position, as for example, I favored the Starbucks on Market St. that was recently declined. I guess having houses go for $5mm in your neighborhood changes your perspective.
Posted by: rabbits at August 19, 2013 2:41 PM
Actually @rabbits makes perfect sense and I especially like this point " More of a concern are $2,500+/month studios, $1,000+/sq. ft. condos, and commercial space only affordable to purveyors of the monoculture. " I love the use of the term monoculture because that is what it is beginning to feel like. All rabbits post was trying to do was point out the good and the bad.
Posted by: JeffB at August 19, 2013 2:48 PM
Since tech workers are only about 10% of employment, it is a little unlikely to think that this small number of people are driving all the changes we are seeing. It is true that tech has an amazing multiplier effect, which is why we have such a low unemployment rate, but that is probably better than the alternative.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 19, 2013 2:56 PM
OK, Got it. I think some of it is related to living in that particular area. I think the tech boom has affected Noe Valley and SOMA neighborhoods dramatically, some other areas (Bernal Heights for example) in a smaller, but noticeable way, while most of SF is only slightly affected.
Posted by: lyqwyd at August 19, 2013 3:22 PM
@ Brahma--for high end earners, thanks to Jerry Brown, total tax rate in CA is on par (or even higher) than in NYC (RE your comment "people who live in Manhattan and work on Wall Street are paying much, much higher taxes...")
Consider for high end earners:
CA income tax: 12.3%
+ SF payroll tax (1-2%) = 13-14%
NY state income tax: 8.8%
+ NYC income tax: 3.6% = 12.4%
SF sales tax: 8.75%
NYC sales tax: 8.875%
Sure Prop 13 throws things out of whack, but no chance that affects anyone who is buying a new home today.
And as Jerry Brown promised, once the state's budget gets back into balance the 'temporary' massive tax on high end earners will be repealed. Probably about the same time the high speed rail runs from downtown SF to downtown LA...2085 anyone?
Posted by: no_ vally at August 19, 2013 5:57 PM
Where did you go to High School anon2?
I think the lack of a reply tells us all we need to know.
There is an interesting discussion about how the current tech boom is changing the culture of San Francisco, but looking down your nose at people who are here for economic reasons is not really going to discover it. At least I don't think so.
Technologists have their own art, music and cultural scene, it is just different than the one that went before it. And that is a good thing.
The fact that the new million and billionaires don't feel much need to give back to their communities, with the notable exception of Marc Benioff, is not so good. I am hopeful that this is mostly due their youth though. Bill Gates did not do anything but make money until he was in his late 40s and since then he has given away more than any human being ever has.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 19, 2013 10:58 PM
Anyone else notice that all these homes are on Duncan Street, the street that everyone thinks is in Diamond Heights, not Noe Valley
Posted by: noe mom at August 20, 2013 1:34 PM
"Anyone else notice that all these homes are on Duncan Street, the street that everyone thinks is in Diamond Heights, not Noe Valley"
Not sure about all the homes being on Duncan. I think that Diamond St is the dividing line between Noe & Diamond Heights. Above Diamond and you are in Diamond Heights but below it you are in Noe. That means a significant portion of Duncan street is well and truly in Noe.
Posted by: Willow at August 20, 2013 2:44 PM
Douglass is the dividing line btw noe and diamond heights @ Duncan street. (And still lol'ing at a noe architect calling partial eastward views "amazing".)
Posted by: Anon at August 21, 2013 5:50 AM