San Francisco's housing market is so dire, a burned-out home is selling 'below market value' at $US800,000

  • A burned-out home in San Francisco has hit the market for $US800,000.
  • The one-bedroom, one-bath house was “completely gutted” in a fire and will need to be demolished.
  • The hefty price tag shows the extent of the Bay Area housing bubble.

Somebody in San Francisco is selling a burned-out house for nearly $US800,000 — and the local housing market is so out of control, the listing agent on the home called the asking price low.

121 Grant Street, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house in the desirable Bernal Heights neighbourhood, hit the market in late October. The home was “completely gutted” in a fire in 2016, and the new owners will need to demolish what’s left, according to realtor Jim Laufenberg.

“I suspect it will sell for more than what I’m asking,” Laufenberg told Business Insider, adding that the seller listed the property below market value to incite interest in the first few weeks.

The price tag attached to the 1,700-square-foot lot shows the extent of the housing bubble in San Francisco, where tech workers create demand faster than the city can build new housing.

In the photos of the home, sunlight streams through holes in the ceiling, where an early-morning fire ripped through the property in 2016. Most of the furniture was reduced to rubble and ash. Charred wallpaper has peeled away from the walls. Only a few filing cabinets were spared.

A screenshot from Google Street View shows the charming home in 2009.

In 2017, it doesn’t quite have the same curb appeal.

The fire was caused by a wall-mounted gas heater, according to a San Francisco Fire Commission report. There were no injuries.

Laufenberg said prospective buyers won’t be looking at the home for its bones. He suggested that 121 Grant Street’s location just north of Cortland Street — a main drag populated by small markets, cafes, restaurants, and nail salons — make it a bargain deal in Bernal Heights.

The residential enclave has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, driving the median sale price of a single-family home to $US1.36 million, up 75% from five years ago.

“It’s the location, it’s the land, it’s the opportunity to build,” Laufenberg said.

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