Sporting both “Bay & City” views, the 1,323-square-foot two-bedroom unit #28F in the Infinity tower at 301 Main Street was purchased for $2.199 million in December of 2015, establishing a neighborhood comp at roughly $1,662 per square foot.

Beyond its two bedrooms, the condo is outfitted with a built-in office area, two baths and a designated parking space in the garage.

And having returned to the market listed for $1.999 million this past January, and briefly in contract at the end of that month, the list price for 301 Main Street #28F has just been reduced 5 percent ($100K) to $1.899 million or roughly $1,435 per square foot.

If you think you know the market for luxury condos in San Francisco, now’s the time to tell (again).

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Metroliner

    Aside from the sky-high HOA dues that cover the gym/club/theater/pool, what makes this condo “luxury”?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      In addition to the building amenities mentioned, there’s around the clock doormen, security and a concierge. And of course, the relative price point and finishes as compared to our housing stock as a whole.

    • Posted by another anon

      “Sky-high HOA dues”? Seems pretty average for a good newer building in SF. If you want to see some high HOAs, look at the units in the Millenium or condos in Miami Beach, for example. Easily double the price – around $2k per month.

    • Posted by JRSF

      Their HOAs are actually pretty low given all the amenities they have. I don’t live there, but I’ve long been interested in their listings (one of my friends lives over there). I live in a 60s building whose only amenity is a doorman (and lots of parking), and our HOAs are not that dissimilar.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Just speaking as an observer, the HOA dues don’t seem “sky high” to me. The listing agent’s web site says that the monthly dues are $971 for The Infinity HOA. Not saying the units are comparable, but check out that penthouse unit on top of the Ritz-Carlton Residences in San Francisco. Monthly HOA fees of $3,640. That’s sky high.

  2. Posted by JustMe

    Yikes. That kitchen is tiny, the foyer leading to the “office” is a no-go, and that bathtub in that picture looks like they thought, “hmm, what’s the cheapest tub we can buy?” Really, all you’re paying for here is the view, right?

    • Posted by Metroliner

      The thermostat is right next to the heat producing fridge and its accompanying cold drafts when the door opens. LUXURY design!

  3. Posted by Mark F.

    Who actually sits out on a cold, windy balcony 500 feet up? Plus the floor plan sucks, and the finishes are just average.

  4. Posted by unlivable city

    Like it or not, San Francisco’s real estate is still a bargain versus Manhattan considering the amount of money and high-end jobs sloshing around here. This apartment would cost $2.5 million in Manhattan and without the same quality of views, weather and life in general. This price is no bargain but eventually it will be a $2 million or more unit. Such is our path as a city. High end real estate in this town is a good investment long term.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      I think NYC holds its value much better just given its sheer population and geographic size.

      Was reading New York magazine and you can get a nice condo for around $1-2M. Look at the real estate listings yourself.

      • Posted by SFrentier

        I don’t think Manhattan condos have done better in appreciation than SF over the last decade. Both cities offer desirable and prime real estate that appreciates for those with means.

  5. Posted by Amewsed

    The Infinity building reminds me of 101 California St. The curves of the building resulted in a loss of useful space or spend extra $$$ going custom furniture. And since we had the entire floor, it felt as though I was going around in circles.

  6. Posted by highriseres

    Re: balconies – we actually like and use our balcony a lot. In a different building, but >30 floors up. Somehow the direction we face is almost never windy and, oddly but nicely, the balcony is often warmer than it is when we head outside on ground level.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      do you face east? That would be the sweet spot to avoid the wind.

  7. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    Much is made of the “down from 2015” trend here, which does seem to be impacting a subset of the market (high end newer condos) with single digit price decreases. I would wager the larger trend of inadequate housing supply will make these pull-backs short lived.

    Interesting piece in the WSJ about the dearth of new homebuilding nationally (Don’t miss the painfully quaint commentary about the Michigan bidding war in which one woman had to engage in order to purchase her $163K home for SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS over the asking price.)

    That plus the pullback in new construction that has been recently noted here.

    Finally, with state voters pained by rising housing prices (including rising rents), especially in coastal cities and the specter of Costa-Hawkins repeal, projects that are even further out are likely being back-burnered. I have a nice site for multifamily construction in a peripheral bay area market. Why should I get all wound up about taking on a planning battle and high construction costs if between the time I start pouring in money and the time the building is full, I’ll have a bunch of rent controlled product on my hands? Nahh, I’ll just wait a while and leave my property alone. Meanwhile, more offices go up in SOMA and the enfranchised residents stay locked in with Prop 13 owners and Controlled renters.

    The last bogeyman is rising interest rates. Short term rates are absolutely up, but the curve is flattening, so long term rates haven’t moved very much. The biggest reason to fear rising rates would be widespread wage inflation – but we aren’t seeing that yet. If we have our own pool of domestic formerly ‘discouraged’ workers, the economy can continue to grow without a lot of wage inflation.

    So, fine, yes. Nice condos are trading down. But if you’re holding your breath for a big drop, you’ll be betting on a Korean peninsula debacle, or something geopolitical. It’s not clear to me that we are reaching a reversal point for our local endogenous economic trends. Two years ago everyone said venture capital was going away. Did it? I don’t know, but the SF residential RE market broadly hasn’t really stumbled beyond this condo subset.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Keep in mind that despite the so-called “dearth of new homebuilding nationally,” the inventory of new single-family homes for sale across the country inched up to a 9-year high in January while sales were down, year-over-year.

      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        It’s a good point but at the same time, any statistic (9 year high) encompassing a generational nadir (virtual halt in homebuilding after the financial crisis) probably conveys excessive importance if presented without the context of the period in question.

    • Posted by Tipster

      Yes, I fully agree, it’s only “High End New Condos”, and even then only with “single digit decreases”, like 1101 Green Street 303, reduced to just a little bit less than 20% under its 2015 price and built at the top of Russian Hill at least 60 years ago. It’s been sitting for months. But I agree, blue chip places like the Bell Aire (1101 Green Street) “haven’t stumbled”.

      • Posted by Dave

        I’d qualify it by saying it’s mostly newer (as opposed to high end) condos in the SOMA area with some in outlying areas also showing a decrease. Most of the decreases have been single digit. Some of have been double digit but they are a minority of the subset. Prices generally are continuing to rise, but at a much slower pace and particularly condos.

        The future? Slowing appreciation with some depreciation in the condo subset. Increasing interest rates will cement in the slower pace of RE performance in SF. Negative publicity about SF which has made national news recently will add to the slowdown. Repeal of Costa Hawkins? Most say no way will the initiative pass as owners significantly outnumber renters in Cali but ….if it were to pass, add another headwind. Investors pullout from California will accelerate. Apartment construction will take a hit and, though single family/condo constriction won’t be directly impacted, that too will see a slowdown. With condos in the SOMA, many were purchased to be rented out and that market would evaporate with condos being subject to rent control.

        The drill remains the same – investment RE in SF is a bad bet and may become a worse bet in the coming few years.

        • Posted by Tipster

          Wait until April 2019 when people are writing checks for taxes they can’t deduct in 2018 for second homes in SF.

      • Posted by anon2

        Looks to be pending now, you’d hope that the buyer had the sense not to overbid on stale bread, but it only takes one.
        More generally, you touch on a good point regarding the age of the building being a red herring. In RE cycles, you can have a “Last In First Out” bias, since as prices get higher and higher on the up-slope, in general buyers need to stretch more to get in the market. And so, when the tone of the market changes there is a tendency of more recent buyers to feel the heat first. Obviously you cant have a 10 year stay in a 5 year old building, so there is some correlation between age of building and length of ownership, but I think the latter is most relevant.

        • Posted by anon2

          Well, looks like this “Tipster” picked a good example for his point about blue chip condos. (And the buyer did him or herself a favor)

          looks like [1101 Green Street 303 ] sold for $945k, about 4.4% under the list price “Tipster” was referring to and a whopping 22% below it’s 2015 sale price!!

          Remember when it was a fantasy for anyone to hope for 2016 pricing? And then 2015 pricing? And now double digits below 2015 pricing…

          [Editor’s Note: Conversion in Classic SF Tower Fetches 22 Percent under 2015 Price.]

    • Posted by anon2

      “But if you’re holding your breath for a big drop, you’ll be betting on a Korean peninsula debacle, or something geopolitical.”

      Wasn’t that the same logic tossed around 1+ years ago when the endless summer crew were arguing that nothing could stop the uptrend? i.e. As long as we keep using our smartphones and there’s no catastrophes, these prices will keep rocketing up. Well, nothing “happened” and yet the uptrend turned to flat, then to “down from 2015”.

      Why would there be a hard stop at sub 2015 prices? And what of when something does “happen”? It’s been a historically long time since the last recession, interest rates are unusually low and the stock market is at very high valuations.

      And there’s strong positive feedback in the housing market, who doesn’t want a $1M home that soon turns into a $1.5M home? Paying high holding costs on a $1.5M home for years only to pay 5% commission for the privileged of getting out flat is much less interesting. Paying high holding costs for years only to have your equity slowly dissipate is downright distasteful!

    • Posted by SFrentier

      Yes, I’m with BTO on this one, WRT SF Bay Area holding/increasing housing costs, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

  8. Posted by Steve

    Since they’re building the massive 100 Folsom right in front of this building, a huge chunk of these places are going to lose any view except their neighbor across the street.

    • Posted by lumina tentant

      This unit seems to be facing south-west, so not really affected by the new 160 Folsom building

  9. Posted by Conifer

    What brand of refrigerator is that?

  10. Posted by lumina tentant

    Just wondering where the closest offer would have come in before the price reduction? Given the price reductions since listing (at a loss to start with), my guess is the seller is motivated, so that makes me think the closest offer, if any, might have been well below the currently reduced price … which doesn’t really bode well for the other units for sale at Infinity and Lumina …

    • Posted by Dave

      A further complication would be imposition of rent control on condos. It will be good for folks who rent units in buildings like the Lumina and Infinity but investors will shy away and prices would take a hit. I believe there are a fair number of units in these towers that are rented out.

      • Posted by SFrentier

        I don’t think most buyers of these condos as investments (much foreign cash money) are knowledgeable enough to think of that. If this heats up on the ballot…maybe.

        • Posted by Dave

          A lot of smaller SFH and condo investors are unaware of this – sad but true. If it heats up that should change. A friend with several SFH rentals in Sacramento went to the legislative hearings on repealing Costa. It was defeated in the legislature but since the initiative has surfaced and looks like it will easily make the ballot. Sacramento has its own initiative in the works to impose rent control there. My friend is getting out now. She does not want to take the risk as, if Costa is repealed, it will impact SFH and condo prices. Not near as much as it will impact apartment construction, but there will be an effect – in those counties and cities which impose across the board rent control. Mainly that will happen in the Bay Area and in the coastal areas. Sacramento and surrounding cities are likely to also impose controls.

  11. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 301 Main Street #28F has just been further reduced to $1.82 million, a sale at which would be 17.2 percent below its December 2015 purchase price on an apples-to-apples basis.

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