While sales activity for new condos in San Francisco has typically ticked up from March to April, the number of purchase contracts signed last month (35) was 62 percent lower than the month before and 17 percent lower versus the same time last year.

At the same time, the inventory of new construction condos available to purchase in San Francisco (950) remains 7 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, according to sales data from The Mark Company.  And the volume of new contract signings over the past twelve months remains 20 percent lower than the twelve months before despite having had an average of 62 percent more inventory from which to choose.

And having jumped 9.5 percent from February to March, the Mark Company’s pricing index for new construction condos in San Francisco dropped 5.2 percent in April and is now running 10.4 percent lower on a year-over-year basis and 12.8 percent below its August 2015 peak.

Keep in mind that there are around 5,600 units of housing under construction across the city, which does include projects slated for both sales and rentals.

Recent Articles

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by archiwhatnow?

    home sales aren’t going to stabilize until mortgage rates begin to equalize with rental monthly payments. it’s the millennial calculator. so many people want a home — but any home requires a mortgage with monthly payments that are still 2-3 times more expensive than rent. that’s totally unfeasible. and if any roger ailes look-alike tells you it’s the avocado toast, they’re out of touch with the revenue streams of younger workers. we need more homes for first time buyers. hopefully developers don’t get scared and stop building.

    • Posted by another anon

      Really?

      The tax benefits of home ownership are massive. My after-tax home payments including property tax are the same or less as most renters I talk to….and yet they claim not to be able to afford a home.

      Not sure why people are afraid to call a mortgage lender and ask how much they would need for a down payment and what their buying power is.

      • Posted by lemon obrien

        i pay $1.385 for 2.5 bedroom in san francisco… no way i will buy at these prices; i save way more than you. then i move to country… clean air, good living…

        • Posted by SoBayNative

          With the real estate run-ups in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s (after the dot.com bust), and since 2013, I seriously doubt that you could have saved the amount of equity you would have earned owning during those periods. Smart people who bought during the great recession have easily made 30% (or more) return on their investment in the last four or five years.

          • Posted by hundo_p

            Smart people who bought the S&P 500 at market lows during the Great Recession have tripled their money.

        • Posted by chaz

          Geo arbitrage. Anyone IMO that follows the heard will be slaughtered. Let’s buy crappy, cramped houses
          and buy into a racket, the home ownership is the american dream racket, in SF and then go tell everyone “I own a home in SF”, even though the bank owns 80% of it. Cash POOR but at least I own something BS.

          Most people in SF that buy at these prices will never make the returns of years gone by. Most will be slaughtered when the next tick happens or interest rates creep up. Most will have to work until they are 65 and never know real freedom from working for the man. Best advice is suck it up, rent, and retire early and move abroad where there is some real value and real adventure. Too few step out from the herd.

          Life is too short to be a salary man/ woman all your life. Downsize, sacrifice, suck it up, then enjoy passive income for life, doing everything you want and not paying for an overpriced house in SF worrying about your job loss or small bonus or stressing about your hated boss, horrible company. Go for some FU money and leave the rat race…

      • Posted by archiwhatnow?

        if people are paying as much as they can budget on rent, then the question of value is moot. i agree, the decision to buy a home is a great one — it’s a question of ability, not desire.

        • Posted by another anon

          Nonsense – it’s a matter of priorities. When the first of my friends bought a house here I didn’t think “I’ll never be able to buy a house” – instead I thought “if they can do it, so can I” and in a few years made it happen….with a HH income of less than six figures.

          Even when I moved to SF a long time ago, every other 20-something was spending few hundred bucks (or more) a week on going out practically every night. Not to mention eating out for most meals. Same thing happens today – quit eating the avocado toast and start building some net worth!

          In a few years the money could easily be saved for a down payment on a home closer to the outskirts of the bay area….but obviously that’s not as fun as going out all the time and exotic vacations.

          • Posted by Absolut

            sure, probably wouldn’t take most 20-sometimes too long to save enough to buy a small house in Vallejo or something like that, but unless you really want to live there and don’t mind the commute, it doesn’t seem like a great life choice. Not to mention it may not be a great investment either.

          • Posted by J

            Such an eyeroll.

            “When I was your age” stories are ridiculous. You need minimum 20% down for most neighborhoods that would be worth owning, and that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Outskirts of the Bay Area”…where literally none of your peers are, none of the culture you enjoy, close to nothing you like to do, and far from your job.

            My wife and I save money and our goal is to buy a house in an area we actually want to live in. We’re lucky, we have good income and it’s feasible for us. But for my peers who are drowning in student loan debt and don’t make six figures, that’s totally their right to choose to forgo owning a home they don’t want in an area they hate, vs. renting and enjoying their life.

            All the baby boomer complaining about our priorities are ridiculous. Did you put 20% down on a $1,000,000 “starter” home that needed outrageous amounts of work on top of that down payment? Probably not. My parents put far less down on a $300,000 home. So stop lecturing us about something that realistically you didn’t do financially when you were our age either. My parent’s down payment was in the $30,000 range. That’s far easier than $200,000-$300,000 minimum, plus $50K+ worth of repairs, when rent is already expensive.

            The property values have risen so high, but it’s not just the mortgage payment that takes millennials out of the race, it’s the huge down payments that are hundreds of thousands of dollars.

            “Give up everything that gives you joy in life so you can scrimp and save to buy a shithole in your “D” location that you’ll hate living in”. Sure.

      • Posted by Tony Gambino

        What planet do you live on? Oh right, you probably work for google.

    • Posted by lemon obrien

      also for old people its monthly nut… so, its 2.5% in tax and maintenance at the price you paid; 800,000 = $20k a year, or $1,666 a month… then on top of that you have Home owners association dues… which are like $500 a month; and can rise if the home owners association get into trouble… that just the start… you have pensions which are going broke, and social security which pays $1,500 max for most retirees.

    • Posted by Sabbie

      Mortgage rates can’t get much lower. But you need a down payment. And you’ve got to live somewhere in the meantime, so unless that somewhere is parent’s basement, it’s going to be tough to save that down payment while paying these exorbitant rents. And if you’ve got a college degree, there’s a good chance you’re still paying off crazy student loans. Mommy and Daddy are not so willing to cash out their equity for you as in the past.

      You could try an FHA loan but good luck getting that offer accepted in the Bay Area. They are trying to come up with all sorts of schemes to prop up the bubble right now like student loan bankruptcy and Fannie Mae programs to provide looser credit, of course we the taxpayers will backstop the losses.

      The condo glut is real but there is so much liquidity out there, we are not talking regular people, we are talking rich people from all corners sitting on tons of cash and nowhere to put it, what’s safer than coastal real estate? That will probably limit the market to a slow bleed until the economy finally rolls over.

  2. Posted by sfdragonboy

    This is why I say don’t buy condos: they keep making more and more of them. SFHs, not so much… Supply and demand folks…

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Care to guess the phase-shifted correlation between condos values and the values of single family homes in San Francisco?

      • Posted by Pero

        I’m curious, what is the phase-shift correlation?
        Thanks

    • Posted by Panhandle Amigo

      Unless you know, you want to live in SF and a condo is the only thing you can afford 😛 its not all about equity appreciation.

      I have some friends entering family mode who have been resigned that they are headed to the east bay. I’ve been encouraging them to look at 2000+ square foot condos…pretty great value in that range IMO

    • Posted by stevenj

      Unless one likes the Bayview, Portola, Vis Valley or Excelsior/Croker Amazon neighborhoods SFH have become way more expensive than condos.

  3. Posted by sfdragonboy

    Come on, we all know everyone would prefer a SFH vs a condo. Everyone knows that. Why deal with HOA? Why buy a place that you can’t paint purple to honor Prince if you wanted to? Why own an overpriced apartment? Perhaps this might explain why the Sunset and Richmond districts with their predominantly SFHs are doing quite well, thank you very much….

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who would rather not spend their weekends tending to a yard or other home maintenance issues; don’t want to individually worry about a leaking roof, peeling paint or a failing furnace; and like having a doorman and/or valet.

      Regardless, while condo values are more volatile than single-family homes, there is a phase-shifted correlation between the two and they are certainly more fungible than (it would appear) you think.

      And now back to the new condo market and topic at hand…

      • Posted by MadeinCA

        I am one of those people: 40s, single, traveler, child-less, love to entertain at home with friends and family. The last thing I’d want to deal with are home maintenance issues. I’m not a techie, but I have a stable public sector job with excellent salary and benefits. I’d imagine there are thousands more like us, waiting for the right moment to pounce.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      I wanted a SFH when I bought my first condo, but funny story: I didn’t have an extra $100,000 under the couch cushions for the higher cost.

      • Posted by sfdragonboy

        Well, since this story is more about luxury condos in the Fab 7×7 are you telling me that someone couldn’t opt for a SFH instead (granted in cheaper locals)?

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Your comment said “everyone” would prefer a SFH. I’m just pointing out that “everyone” can’t afford a SFH, so you get a condo. That’s what I did and it was the best financial decision I ever made.

    • Posted by Joey

      A very large percentage of new single family construction is in HOAs these days (perhaps not in SF but certainly elsewhere)

    • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

      That’s like saying everybody would prefer a 5BR house to a 2BR house, so why aren’t more people moving from SF to Concord?

  4. Posted by AJ

    1) Tax-adjusted PITI is roughly the same as rent these days; rents have fallen more than condo prices

    2) Remember, you can only (theoretically) deduct interest on $1m of first mortgage principal and on $100k of second mortgage principal. So, to take the full deduction you need a pretty big down payment in SF.

    3) for the person encouraging young families to look at 2,000+ sq foot condos, I say: “really?” To take full advantage of tax deductions, said young family would likely need a $2 million(!!!) down payment. Unless you’re looking in Bayview, 2,000 sq feet will run you damn near $3 million.

    4) Finally, while SFH holds value better, condos have so many benefits. And, yes, I can paint it purple. This isn’t a Co-op.

    • Posted by Panhandle Amigo

      2,000 Square feet will not run you 3 million. $1,500 per square foot is cherrypicking the high end of the range. For example, In the Panhandle area, respectable condos with parking (but aren’t gleaming from their recent flip) are going from $650/foot to $900/foot. Even those gleaming from their flip aren’t more than $1,100.

      • Posted by AJ

        While I’m sure that’s true, I’d argue that in that price range, you’re much better off renting. The condos to which you refer are unlikely top floor, are probably pretty drab, are in an OK hood (my bias), are unlikely to have a view, will still come with a $350+ (conservative) HOA and will require at around $500k down to get the full tax benefit (at $750/ft).

        I assert that if you take that $500k and invest it in liquid assets, yielding 3%-5% (low risk), while renting a nicer place (living your life), you will be able to own that same condo, at the same price, five years from now, at which point you will be poised to generate positive returns.

        • Posted by Panhandle Amigo

          “OK hood?” You better watch out, or I might turn into the E.Gonsalves of the Panhandle 😛

          It’s likely that you have a better grasp on the financial tradeoffs involved here than me. It just seems like you’re letting the spreadsheet tell you how to live your life. Are you building in an assumption that the market will be flat/down in five years?

      • Posted by Freeloader

        My 1,960sf top-floor Victorian flat in NOPA was appraised for $1.275M about 18 months ago, which is almost exactly $650/sf, in what I think is a desirable neighborhood. I’m hoping that the assessment was on the low end and that I can get closer to $750/sf but I’d say your estimates are spot on.

        For comparison, the middle unit is smaller and rents for >$7K/mo, about double my mortgage, perhaps comparable to PITI if someone were to buy it new.

        • Posted by AJ

          I stand corrected, and happily so as I do like NOPA and will be back in the market sometime in the next few years. Do you have parking?

          As frame of reference, I rent a brand new high-floor unit in a new building in the TenderNob. 1,800 sq ft, brand new, killer views, $7k.

          • Posted by Freeloader

            I lease parking across the street for $200/mo.

    • Posted by RobBob

      Your $3 million place is renting for $8000-$9000/month. Your interest-only payment on a $2.4m loan is $6000-$7000/month + $2500/month property tax + $800 HOA. After the tax deductible portions its not clear which one is better other than having to have $600k locked away.

      I’m not really sure who is putting $2m down on a $3m place, usually at that amount you are either putting down 20% to finance the most possible (and you can walk away for $600k) or paying all cash.

      • Posted by AJ

        You’re correct about the down payment, of course. I’m only pointing out that the tax benefits of all that interest limit out at $1m. I/os are fine and dandy until you have to refi at 10 years. Maybe the property has appreciated, perhaps rates are still low, etc. I think the math you need to do to make a decision is based a normally amortizing 20% down mortgage – and then adjust for taxes. Taxes are real, too, if you’re in the bracket necessary to put 20% down in the first place.

        • Posted by wcsf

          Actually, for loans > $2M, you need 30% down. Even with impeccable credit, income, and reserves. At least thru a major lender like BofA. Maybe you can find a bank who will do it at a higher rate but that defeats the purpose. So, on a $2.5M house, you can get by w/ 20% down. $3M house, you need $900K down. I am not sure you can get an interest only loan on a mortgage that big, maybe. I doubt very many people who are buying homes in that range – who aren’t buying all cash – are doing an interest only loan.

          And yes, you can only get interest deduction up to $1m (and $100K extra in heloc). You are “locking away” the $600k (or $900k) bc you’re betting on long term growth w/ mostly house money. Win big or lose big. There are other unnatural advantages to market investments such as cap on property tax increases and yes, the deferment of income tax on growth in equity until presumably a year when taxes weren’t so high. You also have the potential of selling high and taking up to $500k in profits tax free (if married) which is one helluva’ tax benefit that you won’t find in other investments.

      • Posted by Freeloader

        I’ve looked at $2.5M homes and would likely put down $1.5M. Many banks give better rates if your LTV ratio is lower. It’s common that they tier it e.g. 50% LTV gives the best rate, with ~20bp increases in the rate for each 10% increase in the LTV.

  5. Posted by Anon

    I would never buy a condo that could easily be replicated. But having an amazing view like of the bay bridge is something that there are only a finite number of that can ever be built, so I would think a condo with a protected view of that would hold its value in the long term.

    • Posted by Sabbie

      With all the new towers going up, there must be quite a few units that lost their view.

  6. Posted by sfdragonboy

    Come on, how is this overbuilding of condos any different from all those tract homes out there in Antioch and beyond? If you had bought out there and wanted to sell you were screwed when all buyers had to do was walk down the street to a brand new development that was willing to give you every bell and whistle to buy theirs, not yours. Do not drink the condo Kool-Aid or you’ll be sorry!

    • Posted by SFRealist

      One difference? The numbers.

      We have a few thousand new condos in SF. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of tract homes in Antioch and elsewhere in the East Bay.

      Another difference: location.

      Maybe you don’t see a difference between living in SF and Antioch, but most people do.

      • Posted by sfdragonboy

        I do see the difference. Here in the face of reporting that condo supply is increasing and pricing is dropping and you want to argue the validity/sustainability of the condo market? Wow….

        • Posted by SFRealist

          We have an increase in supply and it has resulted in prices plateauing.

          That’s not the same as the huge numbers of tract homes (ten times more? fifty times more?) in the east bay. Both are increases in supply, but to different degrees.

          (Then there’s demand. There are more jobs in SF, more higher paying jobs in SF, more people willing to buy property here from around the globe.)

  7. Posted by Dave

    Two months worth of numbers from Mark are sort of meaningless. Up 9.5% one month and down 5.2% the following month. Their longer term price numbers, however, do show a trend.

    The large number of units under construction or set to start construction is problematic for those projects in the near-term pipeline. Will more entailed projects be put up for sale? Interestingly, the entitlements for two of those 6th Street beauties are up for sale and the projects likely won’t get built as currently approved.

    Another thing that is happening is an apparent large drop in new project proposals. Last year there were 6/7 per month. This year it seems like, all told, there may not be many more than 7 new projects to date.

    The status of projects in the pipeline but not entitled yet is something to watch. Is it worth it to developers to spend beaucoup bucks to pursue an entitlement when, medium term, appreciation is flat and demand is tepid. Especially so when other markets such as LA and Seattle offer greater profit potential with less risk.

    The fate of the skinny 48 story tower proposed on Howard is something to keep an eye on. Has it been entitled yet? If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t get built. Ironically, IIRC, there was a proposal for a tower on the site in the late 2000s which was abandoned.

  8. Posted by 89centeggs

    Not true at all! My family recently sold our house so we could move back into a condo. And this is after we had a kid.

    We don’t want to spend our lives working on our house and maintaining our yard. Free time is scarce. We want to spend our free time enjoying the city or getting out into nature. We’d rather pay HOAs than deal with all the external maintenance ourselves. Besides, single family home neighborhoods often don’t have the density necessary for walk-able amenities.

    Maybe you prefer a SFH, but don’t assume everyone else is just like you.

    • Posted by Gary

      Ya know, you can pay for somebody to do your SFH maintenance, too. Around here, nobody (but me) cuts their 3+ acre lawns. I’m cheap that way.

  9. Posted by Anon

    I would be depressed living in the Richmond or sunset with it being foggy so much of the year.

  10. Posted by frozentoast

    I would much rather live in a condo in the middle of a vibrant urban environment within walking distance of shops and restaurants than a SFH in the burbs. I would consider outer Richmond/sunset/SFW the burbs.

  11. Posted by gh

    I have observed the market for 15 years. Our condo has doubled in the last 6 years. Better appreciation than google, apple, etc…stocks. Instead of paying for a gardener, security, outside repairs, water, gas, trash, we pay the HOA and come and go as we wish. SF will always be a good investment and is a great city to enjoy!

    • Posted by steve

      In 6 years:

      GOOG 260 -> 950
      AAPL 48 -> 154
      Dow Jones 12500 -> 21000

      I’m not saying that Bay Area investments have been bad (in fact, I’m rather pleased with my June 2009 peninsula purchase). However, a basket of tech staples (AAPL, GOOG, AMZN, NFLX, FB, …) has done better without the added costs of HOAs and property tax. Apple has even been kind enough to throw off a rather generous dividend.

      • Posted by AJ

        Cash on cash real estate has still done better. Remember, you’re 5:1 leveraged.

      • Posted by Tim E

        Plus Steve can sell whenever he wants. That is a key difference in a lot of this discussion. I’m on my fourth home/loan/mortgage and the only, only reason why it might work out for the better this time for me is my family moved too and bought in the Bay Area during the recession/last housing crash. Home Equity might be great for getting more loans or better credit score but for most people it is not nearly as liquid as people think and value can easily change over time.

  12. Posted by Pero

    As a few people mentioned, the NEW condo market is a bad proxy for the overall SF real estate market. Here are some reasons.
    1) SFH make up the vast majority of housing in SF. Even among condos, a very large part are rent controlled, so they can be considered off the market. This leaves a relatively small supply of condos on the market who’s price can be impacted by new supply.
    2) The new condos are mostly 0-1 bedroom units. Possible renters are singles or couples. If prices increase too much, they have other options (such as move into shared living situations, leave the city for elsewhere etc.).
    3) The vast majority of the home shopping public are mid-career people with kids looking for SFHs. These guys are still facing the same supply of SFHs as before the recent building boom. They might be more invested to stay here as kids are in school or they have leadership positions in their jobs.
    4) for the SFH, there have been some strong indicators that prices are actually appreciating. Inventory of homes is at record lows and the stock market gains have increased the net worth of many.

    • Posted by AJ

      Ummmm. Among many false statements here, condos do not qualify for rent control. Never have.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      You seem to be confusing a few misinformed hypotheses with the actual facts at hand.

      1. Of the 385,000 units of housing in San Francisco, the minority (roughly 30 percent) are single-family homes and condos don’t fall under rent control.

      2. The majority of new condos are actually one and two-bedrooms, the minority are studios and threes.

      3. As measured by closed sales, the actual demand for condos was higher than for single-family homes in San Francisco over the past year.

      4. The standing inventory of homes for sale in San Francisco bottomed out two years ago, that includes for single-family homes.

      5. The new condo market tends to be a leading indicator, not a proxy, for the market as a whole.

      • Posted by sfdragonboy

        3. As measured by closed sales, the actual demand for condos was higher than for single-family homes in San Francisco over the past year.

        Come on, I find that really, really hard to believe. Honestly, I get it with a lot of the points made (about how folks prefer not having to do maintenance, or they simply can’t afford to buy anything more) but with a situation where more product is coming off the assembly line as we speak while inventories are in general stockpiling how can anyone be really enthused to want to buy a condo? I think that is a fair question. Sorry, but everyone wants the hot girl at the Ball, not the Plain Janes where there are many…

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Got it. YOU prefer a SFH. Great!

          Other people prefer condos. “Everyone” doesn’t think the same way you do.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          While you might find that fact really, really hard to believe, it’s really, really true. (And that doesn’t even include contract signings for new condos which have yet to be completed.)

          • Posted by Absolut

            it is true that the closed sales for condos are higher than for SFHs, but that doesn’t mean that the demand is higher. closed sales can never be higher than the supply, even if there is tremendous demand. I think a better proxy for demand would be the number of offers received for each type of property, divided by the number of listings for each.

      • Posted by Pero

        1) Can’t you provide a link? I though that this is the other way around. My understanding is that the majority of housing units is SFH, but I’m happy to be proven wrong.
        2) we can agree that the majority of new condos are 1 bedroom units. I hope you agree that this is hardly a substitute for +2bd SFHs.
        3) Measuring demand by ‘closed sales’ is a poor method. It doesn’t account for the lack of SFH supply. Better measures are days-on-the-market, months-of-inventory. If you look at these metrics, you will see that demand for SFH is higher.
        4) this is flat out wrong! There are several sites reporting the opposite based on corelogic data. Inventory of SFH is at a 5 year low. This is my single biggest criticism here.
        5) I believe it’s a leading indicator for rents, but I doubt it’s a leading indicator for SFHs. The reason is the difference in size, which makes the two very imperfect substitutes.
        You have been mentioning for a year that the inventory of new condos is on the rise and that the number of sales is dropping, yet SFH prices remain stable.

        • Posted by Jeff K

          I agree with item 2 strongly. 3BR condos are tiny fraction of the condo market, but a significant fraction of the SFH market. Any many of those 3BR units are “penthouse” type of units that are at the top of the market.

          WIthout normalizing for BR number, it’s an apples/oranges comparison.

  13. Posted by LoveSF

    If people cannot deduct property tax any more in the new tax plan, homeowners will be paying high flying SF property tax with after-tax dollar. I guess that’ll tilt the rent-buy equation a lot.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      don’t hold your breath for anything like that to become law

    • Posted by Absolut

      most high income earner in CA are alread hit by AMT, and so the property tax deduction is already worthless.

      • Posted by Alamo

        Worse, buying a home can tip you into AMT because of the increase in your deductions (ask me how I know this), thus wiping out the supposed tax benefits of owning.

        • Posted by anon

          Okay, I’ll ask, how do you know this?

          Mortgage interest is excluded form the AMT worksheet.

  14. Posted by KMW

    Is it just me or who actually gets to deduct property tax? Once you’re hit with the AMT that deduction is largely phased out and that happens at around $150k for a married household. I have never been able to deduct property tax due to the AMT which is the cost of ownership is much higher than people imagine.

  15. Posted by Dave

    The proposed tax legislation would also eliminate deductibility of state income taxes. This will impact middle class individuals who live in high tax states such as California and NY. Along with the elimination of property tax deductibility, this will be a net negative for the California housing market relative to other states. If the legislature passes the proposed single payer state health care plan there will be a further huge increase in California taxes – not directly related to housing yet it is as the imposition of a 15% payroll tax to fund it will drive more employers out of California.

  16. Posted by highriseres

    I’ve been living in highrise condos the past 13 years. First single, then married, now with two kids. Before and after each kid, we’ve had considerations of moving to a SFH, but so far, each time, we’ve decided that we prefer our condo for the combination of:

    – location: close to work, walking or biking distance to the water, parks, library, food, museums, shopping, bart, train.
    – convenience: dry cleaning, packages, grocery delivery downstairs. Someone is there 24/7 so someone can sign for packages even when I’m not home, and I don’t have to worry about them getting stolen.
    – people: much less isolated and lots of opportunities to run into people daily
    – view: high enough up that it won’t ever get blocked

    The HoA fees aren’t actually as bad as they seem, since they cover water, gas, garbage, recycling, building insurance, and building maintenance, pool. We won’t have to set aside our own home maintenance stash to replace our roof, etc. Our electricity bill is around $45/month, we pay our own internet and phone, and that’s it.

  17. Posted by Conifer

    Whether one chooses to live in a condo or a SFH is a matter of taste, and has been in dense cities for many generations. In Paris, only the very very rich have the option of living in a Hôtel Particulier. Some such SFH, for historical or security reasons, are actually composed of a small number of apartments, or at least suites with locks on the doors. On the other hand, many people who could live in a SFH choose to live in an apartment. Unlike San Francisco which discourages large apartments, Paris has a good supply of large apartments — say over 200 square meters — and allows people to add to them, at the same level, above or below, at will. Of course every Parisian (who can afford it) seems to have one or more country homes in addition.

  18. Posted by anon

    Used condo prices seem to be holding up. See, e.g., 601 Van Ness #629. Sold for $620,000 in 2/16 and just sold again at $639,000. Looks like some new flooring, so call it even in the last 15 months. Certainly not a bull market, but not a crash or even a downturn.

    Yeah, there are a handful of worse outcomes and more than a handful of better outcomes. Bottom line is condo prices are holding up but nobody buying today should expect stellar gains in the near future. Buy if you like the place, plan to stay a while, and the price makes sense vs. renting. This place at 601 Van Ness could fit the bill.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      That’s definitely better than the apples-to-apples sale of 338 Main Street Street #D16G, a two-bedroom at Lumina which was purchased for $1.925 million ($1,374 per square foot) in March of 2016 and just resold for $1.7 million ($1,213 per foot), down 11.7 percent over the past year despite having “never [been] lived in!”

      • Posted by anon

        Like I said, there are a handful of worse outcomes. Of course, there are plenty of recent apples to apples gains as well, but I understand that you don’t like to acknowledge those. Fair enough. It’s your blog.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          We highlight apples-to-apples gains all the time. What we don’t do is go looking for outcomes and outliers after the fact. And unless the sale is story unto itself, we typically won’t feature it unless we didn’t know the outcome prior to having selected it.

          • Posted by anon

            And that is a fair process. No disagreement or criticism there.

            However, one cannot then use the results of such a process to draw any broader conclusions of the state of the housing market or prices. So we’re just talking about two different things – not a problem.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Right. So now back to the broader index (versus your inconclusive example) above…

          • Posted by anon

            Okay, back to this “broader index” that nobody knows anything about, such as how it is compiled, the inputs, or the analysis, and which showed a 9.5% price gain in a single month followed by a 5.2% price decline the next month, demonstrating it is really not worth any serious consideration.

      • Posted by Panhandle Amigo

        I believe Lumina is uniquely unappealing because it was developed by and for the Chinese an an offshore asset, thus it’s unusually empty. It doesn’t give off a good vibe, per my RE agent.

        • Posted by Dave

          I have not heard that about the Lumina – seems unlikely. Developers aren’t going to narrowly target these high-end projects to a relatively small segment of the market. That said, it seems there are quite a few “vacant” units in these buildings. I attribute that as much to the purchasers being part-time SF residents as to people buying for offshore asset purposes.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *