- The San Francisco housing market has gone off the rails in recent years.
- Thanks to an influx of tech money and limited housing stock, average rents have soared to more than $US1,700, and a one-bedroom will cost almost $US3,700.
- For home buyers, San Francisco is the most expensive city in the US, with an average asking price of almost $US1.3 million.
- Visit MarketsInsider.com for more stories.
San Francisco is less than 49 miles square and, with water on three sides, there’s no room to spread out.
Add an invasion of tech company headquarters plus the money from a spate of recent IPOs, and you have the recipe for the a real-estate market that can only be described as out of control.
San Francisco is a gorgeous city, with fabulous views of the bay from rolling hills. Increasingly, however, it’s also an unaffordable city for all but the super wealthy, where even middle class residents find it hard to hang on. The limited supply of homes and the river of money flowing in have created a historically overheated housing market.
Here are 11 unbelievable facts about the San Francisco real estate market that will make you glad you live somewhere else.
You’ll need to earn at least $US172,000 a year to afford a home in San Francisco
Curbed San Francisco reported that buyers need an annual salary of at least $US172,153 to keep up with mortgage payments in San Francisco. This assumes that home expenses, including mortgage and insurance, will take up 36% of your monthly paycheck.
According to PayScale, the average salary in San Francisco is around $US88,000, putting home ownership out of reach for most. Even a senior software engineer makes just $US141,554 on average, according to the PayScale data – not enough to buy a house without a stock option windfall.
The median rent in San Francisco is more than $US1,700
And the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco hit almost $US3,700 in 2019
The median rent for a new lease on a one-bedroom San Francisco apartment is around $US3,690 a month. According to apartment rental platform Zumper, that’s the highest rent in the US, almost $US1,000 more than that of famously pricey New York City.
And San Francisco isn’t the only high-rent California city. Half of the top 10 most expensive cities for renters in the Zumper report were in California. The list included two other cities in the Bay Area alone: San Jose and Oakland.
There are about 390,000 housing units in San Francisco — and almost half of them were built before 1940
San Francisco’s housing crunch is, to some extent, a structural problem.
This is San Francisco’s catch-22. The Painted Ladies give the city its character. Without them, San Francisco wouldn’t be San Francisco. But without more housing, San Francisco real estate has moved out of reach for all but the wealthiest.
The median sales price for a two-bedroom home in San Francisco has increased 329% since 2000
The best way to own a house in San Francisco is to have bought it a couple of decades ago.
According to data from Trulia, the median price of a San Francisco home has risen from $US420,000 in January 2000 to $US1.38 million in January of 2019. That’s a 329% increase. Four-bedroom homes have risen faster than the average, becoming more than 500% more expensive since 2000.
The median listing price for San Francisco homes was $US1.3 million
According to Zillow, the median asking price for a home in San Francisco is $US1,299,000.
Not the price for a luxury mansion or an expansive estate – that’s the price for the average home, including single-family houses and condos.
Rent for new office space in San Francisco costs $US81.25 per square foot
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that commercial rents in the city’s central business district reached $US81.25 per square foot in the third quarter of 2018.
That tops the previous high of $US80 per square foot at the end of 2000, around the peak of the dotcom bubble.
The most expensive condo ever sold in San Francisco went for $US15 million in 2018
Multiple San Francisco real estate records were set in 2018.
The first was the most expensive condo sale in the history of the city. A luxury 3,326-square-foot penthouse condo at 181 Fremont sold for $US15 million, costing a record $US4,509 per square foot.
The same development includes a 6,941-square-foot penthouse with an asking price of $US42 million, the highest in the city’s history. No buyer has come forward as yet.
The most expensive home on the market in San Francisco is listed at $US45 million
A few months after 181 Fremont listed its $US42 million condo, 950 Lombard Street was listed for $US45 million, setting another record last year. And if it sells for anything near the asking price, it will become the most expensive home sale in San Francisco.
What you get for the price is a 9,500-square-foot house on a double lot with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms and an infinity pool, among other amenities.
You can buy a replica of Versailles in San Francisco for $US30 million
If you have but a mere $US30 million to spend, you can still live like an aristocrat. A 17,895-square-foot replica of Versailles in the tony Presidio Heights neighbourhood awaits the arrival of modern-day royalty.
Condos in a building that’s sinking are still selling for over $US2 million
The final indication that San Francisco real estate has gone off the rails is the Millennium Tower. The 58-story building has sunk almost a foot and a half since it opened in 2009 and it tilts 14 inches.
How much would you pay for a condo where dropped pencils will always roll toward one wall and the fix has a $US100 million price tag?
In the past few years, units at the Millennium Tower have sold for $US2.1 million, and $US1.35 million, and $US4.66 million – although that one was technically a steal, considering its nearly $US6 million asking price. Another is on the market for $US2 million.
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