Purchased for $1.5 million in November 2014, the Infinity unit #18E at 301 Main Street returned to the market this past March priced at $1.68 million or roughly $1,424 per square foot, a sale at which would have represented total appreciation of 12 percent for the two-bedroom unit with views and an efficient 1,180-square-foot floor plan since the end of 2014, or roughly 5 percent per year.

Reduced to $1.599 million in May, the sale of 301 Main Street #18E has just closed escrow with a $1.56 million contract price, a sale at which represents total appreciation of 4 percent since the end of 2014 or roughly 1.5 percent per year on a straight line basis.

At the same time, a number of year-old units at Lumina across the street remain listed at a loss and a penthouse is now available for a million dollars less.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by sfdragonboy

    “At the same time, a number of year-old units at Lumina across the street remain listed at a loss and a penthouse is now available for a million dollars less.”

    Ok, can I say it now? Condos are not the play at this time when more product is literally rolling off the line. Supply and demand don’t lie. Sure, if you have money to blow and could care less about a lawn to take care of by all means buy an apartment, err, condo. One day perhaps when we literally become New York we may see condos being coveted and thus go up in value but that may be a long time away. In the meantime, you would have made real money with SFHs. I did. All SFH owners did.

    • Posted by that_dude

      Umm, I dont’ think that’s true. I bought my condos in 2011, both have doubled and held their value quite well when looking at recent comps in the building/neighbourhood.

    • Posted by anon2.5

      There are more than just condos in amenity buildings and SFHs. My suspicion is remodeled condos in 2-4 unit buildings are doing fine.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      SF will never become NYC — we simply lack the size and population of NYC.

      If people had a choice to either park their money in SF or NYC real estate, my advice would be NYC because NYC holds its value better. Huge diverse economy and most of its people understand how business works.

      • Posted by cleverpunhere

        I feel like the more obvious lesson is that you should not buy real estate if you want to sell in ~2.5 years.

        • Posted by sfian

          If there were a thumbs up button for the previous comment consider it clicked.

        • Posted by anon

          This doesn’t really fly. If you sell within 2 1/2 years, the selling price will be lower than you paid? There is no evidence to support that. Now it is true that high closing costs kill you with a short hold in real estate, but that has nothing to do with the selling price.

          The truly obvious lesson is that anecdotes like this are really pretty meaningless. For example, another similarly priced unit, 1601 Pacific #401, sold for $1,465,000 in February 2015, just a few months after this place. It just sold again on July 7 for $1,680,000, up 14.6% in a little over two years (very close to the broader case shiller numbers, up 16.6% since Feb. 2015). Why not feature that anecdote? If you’re going to present all 1-2 year SF resales, that would be legit as it would provide a full picture. But selective anecdotes simply make one lose credibility.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            That’s a great point with respect to consistency and credibility. Keep in mind that while they’re both in San Francisco, the market in Polk Gulch/Nob Hill isn’t the same as South Beach/Transbay (although a basic understanding of what’s happening in the newer development market might be worthwhile to some, especially as it tends to be a leading indicator for the market as a whole).

            And while it did trade hands for $1.35 million in early 2014, there doesn’t appear to be a recorded 2015-era transaction for 1601 Pacific Avenue #401 nor one last week which with to compare, at least not one that was transparent and/or arm’s-length.

  2. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    The unit is cheaply finished – choices not commensurate with the views and location.

    • Posted by pvc

      It’s not just the furnishings. The unit itself is pretty unexciting. Small, very little storage space, nothing remotely interesting or engaging about the design or floorplan.

    • Posted by Mark F.

      Sure, but you know—you can buy your own furniture. I like the unit.

  3. Posted by SoBayNative

    I love the fact that if the master bedroom door is open, you can literally see the toilet from the living area as you pass by. The floor plans in these new buildings are often ridiculous, with bathrooms across living areas from the bedrooms, etc. Space planning to suit the developer, not the occupant.

    • Posted by Martin

      Agree. The corner units in the Infinity towers clearly are the premier floorplan. However, consider the changes they made to Lumina where again, the corner units are the ‘premier’ floorplans, but the ‘side’ units – analogous to the unit above have definitely improved on the floorplan.

      Much less waste and toilet is hidden from view. 🙂

    • Posted by Willow

      My friend owns a unit with this floor plan. Rest assured that the bathrooms have doors and are not open to the living room or bedrooms.

  4. Posted by John

    The craziest appreciation I have seen is at The Beacon (believe it or not). Unit 1516, which I considered buying in 2009 for $935,000, sold in 2016 for $1,950,000. I do think that the buyer got hoodwinked a bit (the unit is really a single large room in addition to the bedrooms, the kitchen is not condo-worthy, the building has no air conditioning and “bakes” throughout the year, and the pigeon crap on the windows is washed only once or twice a year), but still this was astonishing.

    • Posted by John

      That Beacon sale was an anomaly; unit 1116, 4 floors below, with the exact same square footage was sold for $1,562,500 two months later, almost $400,000 less. Nevertheless, if you had bought unit 1516, you could have been that lucky seller.

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