Modest Price Increases in SF, Spotlight on Potrero Hill

The new Zephyr MarketTracker is out, and the biggest news is that prices in the single-family home and condo markets are only up 2.8% and 3.8%, respectively, over the past six months.

We also take a look at some properties in Potrero Hill (average price, roughly $950,000 for a home), as well as note that the move-in date is coming up for Nob Hill’s Marlow development.

Plus, details on the Fairmont’s giant gingerbread house! It’s all here in the latest edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker.

What You Can Buy In: Potrero Hill

Boasting great weather and views from the top of many of its hills, Potrero is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. It’s admittedly not as central as some other areas, as it is situated in the east end of town. However, there are two cute retail/restaurant strips on 18th and 20th Streets, a Whole Foods and the design district nearby, as well as proximity to 280 and the Third Street rail to downtown. In the end, Potrero is better connected to the rest of San Francisco than people may give it credit for.

The average price of a single-family home in the second quarter of 2012 was $841,545, and for a condo it was $623,320. Buyers in these price ranges will definitely get more for their money in comparison to neighborhoods such as Noe Valley, or even the Mission. That’s not to say the Potrero market isn’t competitive; the most expensive property in the second quarter was a 5BR/4BA single-family home built in 1927 at Kansas and Mariposa that traded hands for all cash at $1.5M. And the least expensive was a 456-square foot 1BR unit in the Potrero Court complex at 24th and Kansas that also sold for all cash at $191,000.

Current Potrero inventory includes four single-family homes, eight condos and one TIC. Here’s a look at a couple such properties that I think are good examples of what you can buy in the neighborhood:

380 Connecticut

380 Connecticut is an extensively renovated, tri-level single-family home with almost 2500 square feet. Location is prime north slope Potrero, within walking distance of neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and shops. The home features high-end finishes throughout, downtown views from three decks, and a chef’s kitchen. No garage, but there’s leased parking nearby for $200/month, and parking here isn’t highly challenging. 380 Connecticut was last sold in August 2011 amidst six offers for $900,000 in cash. The current owners are hoping their renovations will yield them a nice, updated price.

1629 18th Street

This loft is also in an excellent Potrero location, and has two levels, a private patio and office mezzanine. The master features a lovely remodeled bath. There’s also an in-unit washer/dryer, soaring ceilings, great natural light and one-car parking. HOA dues are $485.49/month. There are 65 units in this 1995-built property. 1629 18th Street is currently tenant occupied. It was initially listed for $589,000 and went into contract, but fell back on the market and has now been relisted at $650,000.

Potrero Hill Snapshot
Nice weather
Views from many homes
Nice retail districts
Proximity to freeways, rail line

More remote San Francisco location
Mix of industrial/commercial can detract from charm
Residents rely more on bus lines than BART/rail
Crime can be an issue due to nearby housing projects

More Potrero Resources
Zephyr Neighborhood Profile
Nabewise Potrero Profile

What You Can Buy for $1M

There’s a wide variety of properties in San Francisco, and we take a look today at three very different homes at the $1M price point:

3569 Pierce
List Price: $995,000
2BR/1BA, 1575 sq ft
1-car pkg
HOA dues: $250/mo
This first-floor condo in a two-unit building has a gourmet kitchen, wood-burning fireplace, formal dining room and hardwood floors. There’s also a shared, landscaped garden. Location is prime Marina, close to Marina Green and the Chestnut Street retail area.

65 Borica Street
Ingleside Terrace
List Price: $998,000
4BR/2BA, 1719 sq ft
2-car parking
Fully detached and built in 1923, this Spanish-Mediterranean single-family home has a Mayan fireplace, formal dining room, spacious kitchen with a garden view, and rear decks. The price was reduced in mid May from $1,129,000 to the current $998,000 list price.

472-474 Pennsylvania
Potrero Hill
List Price: $995,000
Two units
2-car pkg
Consider this two-unit building that will be delivered vacant. There are two 2BR/1BAs, a terraced yard, and two-car side-by-side parking. Good Potrero location, in walking distance of both Potrero shops and restaurants, as well as the Dogpatch cafes and restaurants (and about five blocks away from the Muni line that runs up & down Third Street). You’re a little close to 280 here, but how much that will bother you is a personal choice. This is a good option for someone with a decent down payment who wants to owner occupy one unit and rent out the other. Or, go in with a friend and keep your costs manageable.

House vs Condo in Potrero: Texas Throwdown

Two new properties in roughly the same price range came on the market this week on Texas in Potrero, and they’re leading me to post this question: Which would you prefer?

In one corner is the above condo property at 311 Texas—2BR/1BA, top floor, views from nearly every room, a large deeded deck, unfinished attic and parking. List price is $819,000.

In the other corner is the single-family home at 558 Texas, which currently has no recent photos posted with the listing. But here’s what it looked like in 2000, when it sold for $575,000:

This is a 2BR/1BA Victorian with an updated kitchen/bath, garden, two decks, a bonus bedroom/bath down and one-car garage. List price is $799,000.

So which would you prefer–the fancier view condo, or the house that would let you live without being involved with your downstairs neighbors?

What You Can Buy for $1M

It’s always a crap shoot when it comes to surveying what’s available across a certain price point, given the individual nature of San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. This time around, we take a look at three single-family homes listed between $995-$999,000.

First off, we have 1383 8th Avenue, between Irving and Judah in the Inner Sunset:

1383_8th Last sold in April 2004 for $999,000, this 3BR/1.5BA home offers 1800 square feet and two-car parking. There’s also a remodeled kitchen and lovely garden.

Now over to Noe Valley, where 1514 Diamond has just come on the market:

1514diamondThis mid-century baby at Duncan Street features 2BR/1BA across 1,050 square feet. The kitchen is also remodeled, and the garage is huge, accommodating three cars. (This is because no one created an unwarranted room down, which knocks out parking.) You get city views from the living/dining areas, and the rear patio.

We complete our trio with 933 Wisconsin in Potrero Hill:


This home was last sold in June 2005 for $985,000 and was built in 1923. There are 3BRs/2BAs all on the same level, a remodeled kitchen, and a bonus room with a full bath down. One-car parking and a killer garden round out the mix. Biggest drawback to this property is that it’s just down the road from the housing projects.

Which would you take? Let me know–click on Leave a Comment below and share your thoughts. No signing in necessary!

Condo Prices Hold Steady

Condo sales volumes were minimal in comparison to past first quarters, but again, prices held up. Areas such as Potrero Hill were given a boost by new construction buildings aimed at first-time home buyers. Once again, the mid-market selling range was king. Here’s a look at how some neighborhoods fared that cater to condo buyers:

Inner Richmond
# Sold: 1
Avge Price: $899,000

Inner Sunset
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $750,000

Noe Valley
# Sold: 14
Avge Price: $794,071

Eureka Valley
# Sold: 7
Avge Price: $747,286

Mission Dolores
# Sold: 7
Avge Price: $787,143

Duboce Triangle
# Sold: 6
Avge Price: $862,333

The Haight
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $835,000

Cole Valley
# Sold: 1
Avge Price: $760,000

Hayes Valley
# Sold: 1
Avge Price: $840,000

North Panhandle
# Sold: 6
Avge Price: $717,833

Pacific Heights
# Sold: 7
Avge Price: $763,667

Lower Pacific Heights
# Sold: 5
Avge Price: $669,200

Potrero Hill
# Sold: 13
Avge Price: $505,558

*South of Market
# Sold: 14
Avge Price: $693,343

*South Beach
# Sold: 17
Avge Price: $869,781

*Mission Bay
# Sold: 5
Avge Price: $611,700

*Limited to data provided in MLS; does not include data from sales offices in new development properties.