Alexander Clark Real Estate

‘The Front Steps’: Homes For Under $1 Million?

Reflecting on a recent sale, an SF realtor on Instagram this week wondered, “Is this the last house in the Sunset that will sell under $1 million?” Great question–let’s see.

For reference, in the past 12 months, out of 295 publicly listed sales in the Sunset (not Parkside), just fourteen closed for less than $1 million. Some (but admittedly not all) of those were subsidized, Below Market Rate homes, so opinions will vary on whether those really “count” or not.

The median listing price for that district (Parkside included) was over $1.3 million during that period, and the sale price over $1.7 million. That leaves precious little space for six-figure homes at the lowest margin these days.

For comparison, it was just five years ago that the median list price here crept in (just) under $1 million–although in fairness, five years these days seems like roughly *runs the numbers* a million years ago now, so the significance is probably harder to grasp.

Of 36 current listings, just two Sunset homes are asking less than $1 million, and both are BMR deals; two Parkside houses are clocking in at barely less than $1 million, both dubbed fixers.

That settles for things south of the park–but what about the Richmond, right?

Here it’s much the same, but the price pressure is a tiny bit less pronounced: We’ve seen 283 public Richmond home sales since April of 2021, and of those, 29 took less than seven figures, and even non-BMR sales came in under $700K in a few cases.

But median prices across the neighborhood during that period were actually even higher than the Sunset: The average Richmond home now lists for $1.5 million, and sells for considerably more.

Out of two dozen current district listings, just two Richmond homes are asking under $1 million, although one of those, a TIC deal, is actually listed for less than half a million.

The conclusion? Well, of course people will continue to find deals, bargains, odd properties, and unexpected windfalls in the western neighborhoods that allow them to pay far less than the average homebuyer these days–that’s as true now as it’s ever been.

But if such a buy is on your very particular bucket list for some reason, you’d better move fast.

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