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What Costs How Much Where is San Francisco

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Best Places to Look for a Home in San Francisco
for the Price You Want to Pay

SF Neighborhood Home Prices, August 2017 Update

The charts below are based upon San Francisco home sales reported to MLS during the 12 months through 7/31/17, breaking out the neighborhoods with, generally speaking, the most sales within given price points. Other neighborhoods not listed did sometimes have smaller numbers of sales within given price segments.

Where to Buy a HOUSE for under $1 million

The overall median HOUSE price in the city in 2016 was $1,325,000, so the under-million-dollar house is becoming increasingly rare. For context, in 2011, 75% of San Francisco's house sales were below $1,000,000; that percentage has dropped to about 20% in 2017. The vast majority of house sales in this price segment now occur in a large swath of neighborhoods running across the southern border of the city, which are by far its most affordable house markets: from Bayview through Portola, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley and Crocker Amazon, to Oceanview and Ingleside. However, even here many home sales have been recently shifting above the $1 million threshold, as can be seen in the 3rd chart below.

Where to Buy a CONDO, CO-OP OR TIC for under $1 million

The overall SF median condo price in 2016 was $1,095,000, and sales under $1m still occur in almost every area of the city that features these property types – but a studio unit in Russian Hill may cost as much as a 2-bedroom condo in Diamond Heights. Note that these charts only reflect sales reported to MLS, and many new-project condo sales do not.

Of these property types, condos make up about 90% of sales, stock co-op apartments 1 to 2%, with TICs making up the balance. TICs typically sell at a significant discount (10% - 20%) to similar condos.

The horizontal columns reflect the number of sales under $1m broken out by 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units. You can see that if you want to buy a condo in the South Beach/Mission Bay district, you are pretty much limited to 1-bedroom units (or studio units).

Spending $1 Million to $1.5 Million in San Francisco

In this price point for houses, one starts moving into another layer of neighborhoods in the west and the central-south areas of the city: The Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods, Golden Gate Heights, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Mission Terrace, Bernal Heights and others as shown. There has been a lot of upward pressure on these areas in the past 2 years in particular as buyer pressure has shifted to more affordable districts.

Condo and co-op sales in this price range are mostly concentrated in those areas where newer condo developments have surged onto market over the past 10 – 15 years, and continue to arrive in increasing numbers – South Beach, Mission Bay, Inner Mission, Hayes Valley, Dogpatch, SoMa – as well as in high-end neighborhoods such as Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and the greater Noe-Eureka Valleys area.

Condos & Co-ops for $1.5 million to $1.85 million

Houses for $1.5 million to $2 million

In more expensive condos, and especially in high-rise condo buildings, it is often not just the unit size that determines price, but the level of the floor of the unit, and the views (and prestige) that often go along with high-floor units, especially "penthouses."

Buying a HOUSE for $2 million to $2.999 million

When you get to the $2 million to $2.999 million range, the house market becomes dominated by the greater Noe-Eureka-Cole Valleys district, the St. Francis Wood-Forest Hill district, the Potrero Hill-Inner Mission area, the Inner-Central Richmond and Lake Street area, and Inner Sunset/ Golden Gate Heights. One no longer can find much in this price range in the Pacific Heights-Marina district.

Buying a LUXURY HOME in San Francisco

San Francisco houses selling for $3 million and above, and condos, co-ops and TICs selling for $1.85 million and above constitute about 10% of sales and, for the purposes of this report, are designated as luxury home sales. What you get in different neighborhoods for your millions of dollars will vary widely. Views often play a significant role in SF home values, but particularly in the luxury condo market, where the most expensive units often offer staggering views from very high floors. Over the past 15 years – and accelerating in the current market recovery – there have occurred some very large shifts in the luxury home market, with districts other than the old-prestige, northern neighborhoods becoming major destinations for (very) high-end homebuyers. However the northern neighborhoods like Pacific Heights and Russian are still dominant areas for luxury home sales, especially at the higher, or ultra-luxury end of that market.

Luxury CONDO, CO-OP & TIC Sales

Luxury HOUSE Sales


Home Sales Breakdowns by Neighborhood & District

If you already know the neighborhoods or areas of San Francisco you wish to concentrate on in your home search, these breakdowns will give you a better idea of what you will be able to find at different price points within each one. The following are generally by Realtor district, which is the reasoning behind grouping certain neighborhoods together. Sometimes, there is a wide variation of prices within a single district.

Pacific & Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow & Marina

Russian, Nob & Telegraph Hills; North Beach, North Waterfront

Noe, Eureka (Castro) & Cole Valleys; Dolores, Ashbury, Parnassus,
Clarendon & Corona Heights; Mission Dolores, Glen Park,
Buena Vista Park, Duboce Triangle, Haight Ashbury, Twin Peaks

South Beach, Mission Bay, Yerba Buena
South of Market (SoMa)

Potrero Hill, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission,
Dogpatch (Central Waterfront)

Inner, Central & Outer Richmond; Lake Street; Sea Cliff;
Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain

Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NoPa), Alamo Square
Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights, Western Addition

St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Balboa & Ingleside Terraces
Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Miraloma Park, Midtown Terrace,
Forest Knolls, Sunnyside, Westwood Park & Highlands

Inner, Central and Outer Sunset & Parkside,
Golden Gate Heights

Lakeside, Lake Shore, Pine Lake Park, Merced Manor and Heights,
Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview, Stonestown

Bayview, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Mission Terrace, Crocker
Amazon, Outer Mission, Silver Terrace, Hunter’s & Candlestick Points


If buying or thinking about buying, these reports have even more information and illustrate other angles on San Francisco home values and market conditions:

San Francisco Home Price Tables by Bedroom Count

San Francisco Neighborhood Prices & Trends

Our Latest San Francisco Market Conditions Report

San Francisco & Bay Area Home Price Maps

Tips for San Francisco Homebuyers

Renting vs. Buying in San Francisco


What Can I Buy for $1,200,000 or $2,000,000?

Below are illustrations of the wide range of homes (and, to some degree, lifestyles) one might buy at two different price points in the city. The higher a home is located on the vertical axis of the charts, the greater its square footage. (Note that the bathroom specifications can be a little screwy, for example 1.3 or 1.7 baths, because these are averages of homes sold at these approximate price points.)

$1,200,000 is approximately the median home price in San Francisco if one combines both houses and condos. For that price, one could buy a 4-bedroom, 2135 square foot house in Ingleside or Oceanview, or a 3-bedroom, 1566 square foot house in Outer Parkside, or a 2-bedroom, 1070 square foot condo in Pacific Heights.

For $2 million, one could purchase a gracious 4-bedroom, 2650 square foot, detached house on a large lot in Forest Hill, or a classic 2-level, 3-bedroom, 1900 square foot condo with a garden in the Marina, or a 2-bedroom, 1350 square foot, luxury high-rise condo with spectacular views in South Beach.


San Francisco Home Sales with Views

SF is a city known for its wide variety of gorgeous views, which can add substantially to the value of a home so graced. Of all the house sales in 2016, only 88 reported having a Golden Gate Bridge view, and some of those were peek-a-boo views (i.e. if you lean out the bathroom window on the top floor) or roof deck views. A full-on, panoramic view of the GG Bridge from Pacific Heights adds over $1 million to the median house price there. Unsurprisingly, condos have the most, and most spectacular, views due to high-rise condo projects.

San Francisco Home Sales by Bedroom Count


Other reports you might find interesting:

All Paragon Market Analyses

San Francisco Market Overview Analytics


District 1 (Northwest): Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Richmond (Inner, Central, Outer), Jordan Park/Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain

District 2 (West): Sunset & Parkside (Inner, Central, Outer), Golden Gate Heights

District 3 (Southwest): Lake Shore, Lakeside, Merced Manor, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview

District 4 (Central SW): St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, West Portal, Forest Knolls, Diamond Heights, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma Park, Sunnyside, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Mt. Davidson Manor, Sherwood Forest, Monterey Heights, Westwood Highlands

District 5 (Central): Noe Valley, Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights (Castro, Liberty Hill), Cole Valley, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Clarendon Heights, Ashbury Heights, Buena Vista Park, Haight Ashbury, Duboce Triangle, Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, Parnassus Heights

District 6 (Central North): Hayes Valley, North of Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square, Western Addition, Anza Vista, Lower Pacific Heights

District 7 (North): Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina

District 8 (Northeast): Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Financial District, North Waterfront, Downtown, Van Ness/ Civic Center, Tenderloin

District 9 (East): SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bernal Heights, Inner Mission, Yerba Buena

District 10 (Southeast): Bayview, Bayview Heights, Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Silver Terrace, Mission Terrace, Crocker Amazon, Outer Mission

Some Realtor districts contain neighborhoods that are relatively homogeneous in general home values, such as districts 5 and 7, and others contain neighborhoods of wildly different values, such as district 8 which, for example, includes both Russian Hill and the Tenderloin.

As always, the quality of the specific location and the range of amenities of the property; its curb appeal, condition, size and graciousness; and the existence and quality of parking, views and outside space can all significantly impact unit values.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. Statistics are generalities and how they apply to any specific property is unknown without a tailored comparative market analysis. Sales statistics of one month generally reflect offers negotiated 4 – 6 weeks earlier. Median sales prices often change with even the smallest change in the period of time or parameters of the analysis. All numbers should be considered approximate.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group