341 Filbert View

Purchased for $5.5 million in May of last year, the remodeled penthouse condo at 341 Filbert Street – which offers big Telegraph Hill, Bay Bridge, and skyline views – returned to the market two months ago listed for $5.995 million, a sale at which would have represented appreciation of 9.1 percent for the property on an apples-to-apples basis over the past 13 months.

After three weeks on the market, the list price for the 3,100-square-foot unit was reduced to $5.495 million, just under what had been paid.

Two weeks later, the penthouse was technically delisted, after which the official list price of record was reduced to $4.995 million on the very same day an offer was identified as having been made.

And yesterday, the unlisted sale of 341 Filbert Street quietly closed escrow with a contract price of $4.725 million, an apples-to-apples loss of $775,000 (14.1 percent) for the Telegraph Hill penthouse over the past year. The sale will be counted as “5 percent under asking” according to industry stats reports thanks to the behind the scenes reduction we noted above.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by ring ring

    Ouch. Maybe the navy blue kitchen/bath paired with the gold wall paper scorched potential knife catchers.

    • Posted by Brian M

      I like the blue a lot. I never like wall paper, but that’s a quick fix.

  2. Posted by Really?

    Really handsome interior and I for one, enjoy the more dramatic contrasting hues vs. the fully tonal gray pallets. Reminds me of a more quirky European style pad – you know, with the funky bits too. It sold for plenty, even at the “loss.”

  3. Posted by soccermom

    “Quiet, see, ’cause when most escrows close, there’s a marching band, and kazoos, and a hype man like Flavor Flav. But this escrow, none of that. Just papers and money being exchanged.”

    Quick sale turnaround on a high dollar property yields poor outcome for the party who had to sell quickly. News at 11.

    Real bloodletting in SF. Condos trading as low as $1524 per foot.

    • Posted by hmmm

      well said.
      I am of the opinion that parties that can afford $5.5m condos to begin with aren’t really affected by a $775K loss, and it probably would be barely noticeable dent in their cayman island accounts. This party clearly had to sell quickly and didn’t really care what it sold for. And also probably substantially overpaid in the first place because they wanted to ensure they got the place over other bidders regardless of the price. I wouldn’t read anything into this sale.

      • Posted by anon

        Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that some floated the idea that high end prices wouldn’t be reduced because high end owners could just afford to wait out any dip?

      • Posted by Freeloader

        Are $5M condo owners so different than $5M homeowners? Because that’s not the impression I get from my quite well to do friends who can spend $3-6M on a home.

        Until you get above $25M net worth, people often dump quite a bit of their net worth into their home and 10% dips are definitely noticed and felt.

  4. Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

    Let’s be fair – this place was first listed on March 4, 2016. Four months to sell is not really a “had to sell quickly” situation (nor is 2 months since it was re-listed). Down $775,000 (14.1 %) in a year is pretty newsworthy. By my calculation, the 2015 buyer paid about $2800 a day to live in this place, with losses, commissions and taxes. Be careful, buyers.

    I agree that the “quietly sells” headline is a bit mystifying. My wife and I high-fived pretty loudly outside the title company when we closed on our place – maybe that is not a quiet sale?

  5. Posted by condoshopper

    i think quiet is a good characterization when the selling party is stealthily change numbers to make the losses appear muted and unnoticed. as a contrast to quiet transactions, i’m sure we’ve seen listings that go “PRICE REDUCED!! SELLER IS MOTIVATED!! THIS WON’T LAST!!”, now that’s not a quiet sale.

    • Posted by soccermom

      I think the poster-in-chief cares more about the sale vs. list premium vs. discount (“It messes with my spreadsheet, not to mention the narrative-that-people-keep-observing-but-doesn’t-really-exist-cause-I’m-totally-unbiased!”) than anyone else involved.

      Again, muted? Vs. what? The sale price is public information. No one cares what the list price was after the fact.

      • Posted by Mikey

        “No one cares what the list price was after the fact.”

        LOL wut? Is that your final answer?

        Reducing the sale price on the date an offer is made appears to fly in the face of this argument. Otherwise, the realtor would have booked 15% under without monkeying with the price on the offer date rather than 5% under as was done here, so clearly it matters to someone.

        Also, “the seller overpaid” trope noted elsewhere sounds a lot like what we heard in 2008, fwiw.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        Having been withdrawn from the MLS, it became an “off market transaction” which qualifies for the quiet tag, with or without the surreptitious list price “adjustment.”

        • Posted by soccermom

          Redfin shows:

          Jul 6, 2016 Sold (MLS) (Sold) San Francisco MLS #445391 $4,725,000 —
          Jun 28, 2016 Pending San Francisco MLS #445391 — —
          Jun 25, 2016 Contingent (Contingent – Show) San Francisco MLS #445391 — —
          Jun 25, 2016 Price Changed San Francisco MLS #445391 $4,995,000 —
          Jun 20, 2016 Delisted San Francisco MLS #445391 — —

          Same listing reference. De-listed then re-listed within 30 days, retains same MLS number.
          Pending 3 days after the re-listing, so offer is not simultaneous with lower price listing.

          Not sure what evidence there is this was an ‘off-market’ transaction. Looks pretty standard to me. Seller had to sell, lowered price, found a buyer. We’ve seem this happen on quick regret sales before.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Except the listing was never re-activated/re-listed following its delisting on June 20 and the acceptance of the (Contingent) offer and price change both occurred behind the scenes on the same day (June 25).

            But you are correct that the seller had to drop the price, and accept 14 percent less than was paid last year, in order to meet the market.

          • Posted by soccermom

            If you are going to trade a property substantially below the original list price, it makes sense to flash the new “range” to the market if you have a contingent contract. This puts other potential buyers on notice in the event the contract buyer wants to haggle excessively. This sale went from contingent to pending in 3 days, that’s an atypically short time to resolve any contingent items. The listing agent used the lower list price as leverage to get the deal closed, not to massage any 3rd party indices.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            A three day contingency period isn’t atypical, or at least not unusual, in this price range. And while your hypothesis of why the list price was changed after the offer was received is entirely plausible, it doesn’t change the impact on the stats.

          • Posted by soccermom

            As the impact on the stats reflects an agent working in the best interest of his/her clients, that’s good news.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        I get about three marketing postcards from realtors a week touting how much over list price one of their nearby listings recently sold for. And just about every realtor market report I see that tracks data includes “% over list” as a metric that is reported. The editor is right to call out the manipulation of that particular statistic.

        As to the broader question – is this big YOY loss an outlier or the canary in the coal mine? I must say that the present data I see do not indicate anything close to this kind of YOY trend in SF, so it looks to me like a wild outlier. Everything I see indicates that we have seen flat pricing or slight increases in the last year — although SFRs are stronger than condos. But we shall see. I’m glad the ed. highlights things like this because you don’t see them anywhere else.

        • Posted by David

          Bob – what data are you looking at? A simple review of a number of condos for sale over the last 6 months has shown that most have gone through one if not a number of price reductions. And with that said, I haven’t seen any sell for more than listed – all are being marked down (although the mark downs are small), or sold for less than listing price. I don’t see any “flatness” in the last 6 months – for condos at least.

          • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

            Paragon has comprehensive data (well, summaries — they don’t provide the granular source sales info, so I’m not vouching for any of it). Indicates YOY gains measured by median or $/sf. And 76.1% and 64.1% (SFRs and condos respectively) selling over “list” in June. Better results for SFRs than condos.

          • Posted by Sabbie

            SP/LP for condos is down about 5% year over year, making a lower low and taking us back to 2013 levels. But also it took a slight downturn from May to June this year, while from 2013-2015 it rose steadily until July.

          • Posted by David

            Thanks Bob. I dunno – I always am leery when looking at Paragon data…i mean, they are a broker. Their interests are conflicted. I try and go to the source and summate the data myself…but it’s not easy. Everyone wants things to look rosy.

  6. Posted by Louis

    Nice unit yes, with flaws at this price tier. (see last post in last article.)

    Forget for a minute what the seller paid, or asked, they just over paid.

    $5 MIL for this unit is a high price and represents a market supporting very high values. If it represents letting some bubble air out, then thats a good thing.

    If it sat for 6 months, 25% discount, etc, would be a sign of more fundamental re-set in market.

  7. Posted by jj

    Too soon for schaudenfraude?

  8. Posted by David

    What’s the significance of “5 percent under asking”. Is that a special bucket or something? Is there “10 percent under asking”, or is 5 the worst it gets (for sellers)?

  9. Posted by JWS

    While I understand the floor plan flaws that others have mentioned, I keep coming back to this one. The views are just extraordinary and I quite like the bold colors and design elements. Gorgeous place.

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