From $992,000 in December, to $895,000 in January, to $825,000 today, a short sale at the current list price for 1150 Folsom #1 would represent no appreciation for this Sternberg-Benjamin designed loft since October 2005.
Over in Lower Pacific Heights the list price on the already bank owned 1944-1948 Buchanan has been reduced $100,000 (5.6%), while a few blocks up the hill the listing for 2021 Webster has been withdrawn. And in Noe, one apple is now in contract (480 Duncan) while another is still on the tree (1420 Douglass).
∙ Listing: 1150 Folsom #1 (2/2.5) – $825,000 [MLS]
A Folsom Rausch Lofts Short Sale (Assuming 3.3% Appreciation) [SocketSite]
A “Bitter” Renter Reports: Repossessed In Lower Pacific Heights [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 1944-1948 Buchanan – $1,695,000 [MLS]
From The Future To The Past (Tense): 2021 Webster Cuts Again [SocketSite]
Another Single-Family Apple On The Noe Valley Tree: 480 Duncan [SocketSite]
Another Look At 1420 Douglass (And A Reader’s “Lazy Noe Indicator”) [SocketSite]

37 thoughts on “An Admittedly Incomplete Update For A Few Featured Properties”
  1. I’ve looked at the 1150 Folsom #1 listing several times now, not physically, but the pictures, and I actually really like it. The staging is tasteful. If the location weren’t so … sucky (technical term), I would actually consider it. Then again, if it were in a different ‘hood, it probably wouldn’t still be on the market.
    And, if I see that boxed comforter in one more staged property, I’m going to vomit! Ugliest, overused staging comforter I’ve ever seen. Stagers … please spare me — or my eyes, rather. I’ll buy you a new comforter, m-kay?

  2. 2243 Greenwich was just reduced from its original 2.2M list to 1.85 (after an interim reduction last month). By the bank, not the (now former) owner, due to its unfortunate foreclosure.
    The market is clearly adjusting. More rapidly than I would have thought.

  3. “I don’t think the current price is justified in that neighborhood.”
    Spencer, I agree. I’d bet that they might even consider $700K if it were a serious offer. I think it would go for much less if the unit went REO.

  4. I don’t think anyone is surprised to see SOMA condos struggling. People who bought there over the last few years are going to be among the first affected by this downturn. There’s now too much inventory in a still undefined area. Meanwhile, people are definitely buying condos in 94123 for under 1 million.
    This is sort of OT, but uber-realtor Malin Giddings has a bunch of new, ultra-high-end properties coming on the market this spring. It’ll be interesting to see how those fare in the market as well.

  5. I remember these units new but I don’t remember the costs, probably around $400K, they are still asking 100% over what they were new. If they can get $800k, that is still 100% appreciation over 8 years in absolute value. For those that have bought back then, you’r still doing good.

  6. I would love to see SOMA or South Beach condo prices drop like rocks as I want very much to own one. I hope Cooper is right on as that is exactly when I plan to move to SF.

  7. I would have also said the neighborhood sucked (a variation of the above technical term) but having lived nearby for a few months, I no longer have that opinion. You’d actually be surprised at the benefits living south of market. I don’t think you’d understand unless you lived here. For sure, I wouldn’t have. Thus, I have to argue that I like the neighborhood. Regardless, my opinion will remain in the minority for now.
    Anyway, for what it’s worth that location is right next to a reasonable park as well. I’d say the price is getting pretty tempting for somebody…

  8. “I remember these units new but I don’t remember the costs, probably around $400K, they are still asking 100% over what they were new.”
    Is this referring to the condos at 1150 Folsom? If so, then it’s completely wrong. A quick survey of the tax records, and Propertyshark, shows that the most inexpensive of these (the 1200 sq ft Unit #3, for instance) went for $590K back in 2001. Unit #5 (another small one) went for $540K in its intial sale in 2002. Many of the units apprently failed to sell back then, and were rented (you can see the refi activity where divisions of the developer were on both sides of the tansaction). It looks like this short sale Unit 1 INITIALLY sold in 2005, from what I can tell. Probably rented before then.
    It looks like this was a “tech bubble” property that missed the boom. Similar to 246 2nd that we’e looked at (and which is already back now to 2000 pricing apparently). Based on the price of this short sale for one of the larger properties, Unit 1, which has still NOT sold at below the 2005 price, it looks like EVERYONE in this 10-unit condo builsing is UNDERWATER. I hope that some were smart enough to have cash-out refinanced, because it looks like ALL are going to face serious capital losses if they try to sell.
    What a TERRIBLE investment these people made. The biggest housing bubble in world history, and a boom is SF, and yet – based on this new comp that is being set – EVERY ONE is absorbing a capital loss (or just about every one)!

  9. The 1150 Folsom building is rather nice for what it is. I looked at several of the units and fantasized about this one for a while. As I recall it was one of the last in the building to sell. The extra windows let in pleasant light, but also expose the unit to the chaos of Folsom Street and the 1015 crowd. Prices seemed steep even then. The price asked now scares me.

  10. “…it looks like EVERYONE in this 10-unit condo builsing is UNDERWATER”
    Funny, I don’t feel like I’m underwater. I own unit 5, which is a tri-level with 1850/sqft on the quieter Rausch street side that I paid 585k (not 540k) in 2002. That equates to roughly $316/sqft. I think the market has a long way to go before I’ve lost any money on this property. Plus, I really like the area, the building and my neighbors.

  11. Satchel,
    Your analysis is incorrect, and here’s why:
    If you were correct with your preposterous assertion that everyone in the building is underwater, the residents would realize it once this unit is sold, and start defaulting not only on their mortgages, but on the HOA dues as well. As vandals began to damage the building, and other maintenance issues arose, there would be no money for repairs, except from the purchaser of this unit.
    But the maintenance issues would soon overwhelm that person ,and the property values would just sink, causing even that purchaser to give up as the value of his property absolutely wilts.
    And if that can a building like this one with long term owners, it is even MORE likely in a new development, where nearly every purchaser paid sky high prices. And thousands of such units were built in the last 4 years: as prices fall on that many unist, that will even drag SFRs down with it.
    So you see, the logical and obvious result of your assertion is so absurd that it simply can’t be correct.
    No sir, I simply refuse to believe it. That would be as bad as 8% jumbo mortgage rates– an impossibility, if only due to the disasterous consequences that are too horrible to imagine.

  12. 1150Folsom,
    My apologies, Unit 5! It looks like YOU are the one who isn’t! Sloppiness on my part – I’m only going by Propertyshark, and the square footage for your unit is the only one not listed. I assumed it was one of the 1200 square foot ones, because of the proximity in price ($540K versus $590K for Unit 3 – 1200 square feet – back in 2001).
    Since you have been there for a while, am I right that some of these units failed to sell back in 2001/2002?
    I agree with you, YOU have some ways to go before you are underwater! That’s the danger I guess with using even propertyshark – it looks like there is some bad data in there, because it shows you paid $540K. Again, my apologies!
    But with that out of the way, with the EXCEPTION of Unit 5, it looks like just about EVERYONE ELSE is (or will be) underwater, especially when selling costs are considered.
    Unit 1 looks desirable, and is not selling at $498 sq. ft, which after commission and transfer tax would equate to under $468 per sq ft. Here are the raw $/sq ft prices paid for the other units and the YEAR sold (again, from prop shark, with all the caveats that go along with that):
    Unit 2 $540 (2005)
    Unit 3 $479 (2004)
    Unit 4 $541 (2006)
    Unit 6 $534 (2005)
    Unit 7 $432 (2004)
    Unit 8 No information
    Unit 9 $477 (2006)
    Unit 10 No information
    Obviously, a LOT more goes into valuing a unit than simply $/sq ft. But I am sure you will agree, most if not all of those units for which propertyshark gives info will incur capital losses on sale today. Let’s see how low unit 1 goes for. You might not have too far to go before you, too, are under water, Unit 5. I hope you took out some cash through a refi!
    Here’s the basic point. The comment above I was responding to (view lover’s) seemed to imply that these units had 100% appreciation over the last 8 years. Not even close, if this propertyshark (and tax record) data is even half way accurate.
    Unit 5, why do you think you got such a good deal ($316 sq ft) as compared with, say, Unit 3, which prop shark says paid around $490 sq ft in 2001? Are the data wholly inaccurate?
    And of course, you bring up a GREAT point. If you enjoy the place, your neighbors and the location, etc., you’ve made a wise choice for yourself. And it even looks like you somehow got a good price. But as an INVESTMENT, it looks like your neighbors didn’t do very well, and my point is that that is surprising given that we have had the largest bubble in world history. As the bubble deflates, these will likely turn into horrendous investments, but again if people were buying these as places to live, and don’t mind losing 20-30% of their purchase price (and that’s probably what it is going to be), then they’ll be happy too!

  13. errr…Near…some parts of SOMA are nice, but there’s a greasy spot sorta bounded by the freeway and Market, 6th and Van Ness that is really mostly grody. I live downtown and work in SOMA, and my wife has forbidden me to walk any direction other than towards caltrain and then up 3rd or 4th streets. She specifically prohibited me from taking the #19 bus that goes up 7th/down 8th.
    Anyway, if you live there, it’s not as bad as the worst of the tenderloin or hunter’s point, and I’m happy you’re happy, but it’s not exactly a nice place.

  14. @ whorfin:
    I never said it was NICE. I did say I would remain in the minority, but that I liked it here. Again, living here is much different then working around here or passing through. And if your wife is nervous for you to take muni or walk around here then I hope you still have the opportunity to vacation somewhere interesting…

  15. Satchel & 1150Folsom – I agree that 1150Folsom got a great price for his Unit #5. The price psf is way lower than all other units sold before or after. I’m seeing the same #’s that you show for the other units although I added a couple data points. Here are sale prices by unit (with price psf):
    1 10/14/2005 $829,000 ($501)
    2 8/23/2005 $649,000 ($541)
    3 9/28/2004 $575,000 ($479)
    4 4/21/2006 $650,000 ($542)
    5 2002 $585,000 ($316)
    6 4/21/2005 $1,035,000 ($534)
    7 7/18/2004 $803,000 ($432)
    8 2/1/2001 $960,000 ($498)
    9 6/27/2006 $886,525 ($477)
    10 N/A $925,000 ($478)
    With the current asking price for Unit 1, it does appear that everyone is under water except for Unit 5. What did Johnny Cash say? “I hear the train a comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend, and I ain’t seen the sunshine, since I don’t know when, I’m stuck in Folsom condos, and time keeps draggin’ on . . .”

  16. Great Johnny Cash song FSBO!
    I did a little more digging on 1150 Folsom. The “property class” of Unit 5 is listed as an “office-condominium (OZ)” on prop shark, while all the others are classified as “live/work condominium (LZ)”. I smell some sort of loophole/exception/scam here, and that is why the $ psf for Unit 5 was so much lower than all other units. Perhaps someone with knowledge of these property class codes could enlighten us?
    Unit 10 is still owned by the developer, it looks like, based on the tax roll. That sales figure ($925K) is probably a refi by the developer once comps were set.
    Many of these units failed to sell initially, and for some years afterwards. Unit 3 sold for $590K in 2001, and was resold later for a loss to the current owner in 2004. The FIRST sale of Unit 1 was 2005. Others were sold in 2003 and resold for substantial profits to the current bagholders. Typical dynamics of a bubble. The units were overpriced in 2001 because the numbers were run during the tech mania in 98/99. Anyone who bought back then absorbed capital losses as the pricing adjusted to the market reality. Bubble buyers (momentum players) who bought in 2003/2004 AND were smart enough to dump the properties in 2005/06, got out with good (and in some cases GREAT) gains.
    The impending foreclosure of Unit 1 should be a sign that the current owners are in fact stuck holding the bag. Since a worldwide housing bubble (not to be recreated in our lifetimes IMO) allowed the profitable sales in 2005/06, current owners are facing grim prospects, especially with the explosion of supply that is coming on line.

  17. not from walking around SOMA in general, but she really doesn’t want me walking home after dark through the skid-row zone that leads up to the glorious part of our city known as mid-market.

  18. Satchel,
    To answer you question, I bought during the dip of 2002 – 6 months after 9/11. I was simply in the right place at the right time. Nothing fishing – Propertyshark simply has incomplete/inaccurate data. And, no I haven’t taken any cash out and I opted for a conservative fixed rate several years back.
    This area is not nearly as bad as Whorfin states but I don’t take Muni or walk to either Market or 6th. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve only seen positive improvements and with the whole mid-market redevelopment underway I think the area will only get better.

  19. 1150Folsom,
    Well, you’ve shown everyone how it is done! Congratulations on a VERY well-timed purchase. I didn’t mean to imply it was shady – poorly chosen words on my part. Had you sold it for $1MM+ at the peak of the market, you would be my market timing/trading guru! But as you said, you’re happy with the unit, and so whatever happens, you’re basically ahead of the game. Those tri-level units do look nice (from the pictures of Unit 1), and you’re probably right – even a bear like me doesn’t think you will take significant investment pain if your basis is $316 psf. Best of luck!

  20. Interesting how Satchel’s always accepted around here as the authority on everything, until he is faced with actual facts.
    In which case, he’s proven completely wrong.
    … and then he still reverts to his self-congratulatory soapbox.

  21. @amused…are you a realtor? 🙂
    Satchel makes a significant contribution to this site. So do many others like ex-sfer, fluj, tipster, fsbo to name a few. On the other hand, there’s nothing amusing about your last comment.

  22. amused,
    It’s good to see you have a sense of irony!
    “until he is faced with actual facts.
    In which case, he’s proven completely wrong.”
    LOL! I’m the first one to admit when I am wrong. But, of course, I’m not wrong here. Far from it.
    And thank you for helping this thread gain some traction with respect to 1150 Folsom. It’s a fascinating microcosm of the bubble, and one which ANYONE contemplating buying a condo in SOMA (or SF generally) should consider CAREFULLY.
    Let’s recap quickly.
    viewlover above wrote:
    “I remember these units new but I don’t remember the costs, probably around $400K, they are still asking 100% over what they were new. If they can get $800k, that is still 100% appreciation over 8 years in absolute value. For those that have bought back then, you’r still doing good.”
    No one corrected him. No one questioned this. Except me. Remember two things mentioned by viewlover: “around $400K” and “still 100% appreciation…in absolute value….you’r still doing good.”
    In point of fact, TWO units (out of ten) sold back then. Unit 3 was purchased for $590K on 2/21/01, and was later sold at a loss in 2004 for $575K. After paying the realtor commission, that first buyer blew up his entire downpayment. “doing good”? I hate to think what would be “bad”!!
    Unit 8 was bought for $960K on 2/1/2001! Right now, you can look at the tax records, and you will see that the assessed value has been “corrected”, and is now assessed at $925K. Once Unit 1 sells (at less than $800K is my bet – after all, it has been on the market for more than 100 days), Unit 8 will be able to get the assessment lowered again. “doing good”? Not a chance. 100% appreciation? Thanks, I needed a laugh today!
    (Unit 10 was apparently NEVER sold. It still shows it is owned by the developer. Oh, BTW, it has a “corrected” (lowered) assessed value as well.)
    That’s it. That’s all the purchasers who bought initially, and about whom viewlover said were “doing good”. What happened to $400K?? What happened to 100% appreciation? Hard as it is to imagine (and I don’t think viewlover was intentionally misleading anyone – I think he sincerely believes that SF condos have been a great investment, and tends to “color” his recollection accordingly, and, in fairness, many condo investments in SF have been tremendaous successes – but NOT these!), these condos have been miserable long-term investments.
    The ONLY Unit to sell in all of 2002 was 1150Folsom’s Unit 5. If we are to believe what he wrote, that he purchased an 1850 sq ft unit for $585K, well, that means that prices FELL 38% from 2001 to 2002! Unit 8 was also an 1850 sq ft unit, and it cost $960K a year before!!
    Was this development a flop? Well, after TWO years of selling, only 3 units (out of 10) had sold. Sounds like a flop to me!
    In 2003, things picked up. Units 4, 6, 7 and 9 were all sold in 2003 for the first time, and each was later resold for a profit to the current owners. These initial buyers were smart, or at least lucky. They all overpaid for their units of course on a fair value basis, but just like the momentum trader who bought Google (overvalued at $500) but managed to sell it to someone else at an absurd $700, these buyers got out with profits. NONE even approached 100%. But Units 4 and 6 were resold at gross profit percentages slightly above 45% (those were the highest). Well done. I ALWAYS give credit where it is due.
    Fast forward to today. Unit 1 has been for sale for over 100 days. It’s now a short sale, and it’s listed at $498 psf. It will sell for lower. Take a read of FSBO’s post above, and you will see that all of the current owners with the possible exception of Unit 7 (and, of course, unit 5) are underwater. Not too surprising. When you buy in a bubble, your wealth gets absorbed. The people who bought in 2001 have lost large amounts of $$. People who bought after 2005 (the current owners) are in the process of losing large amounts of $$. The only real winners were those who “traded” the market here, getting in and getting out. Again, look closely at the data provided by FSBO, and be sure to discount these $ psf figures by the 6-7% selling costs that would be incurred upon sale.
    So, amused, all ad hominems aside, where was I proven wrong? All right, I said “everyone” was underwater, because I couldn’t see the square footage of Unit 5’s purchase on propertyshark, an example of sloppiness in reasoning that I of course readily acknowledged the moment it was pointed out to me. Was I wrong about anything else here? And, BTW, why didn’t you point out that viewlover’s assertion of $400K prices and 100% appreciation was just nonsense?

  23. Sachey, I”m not colored, but I’m incredibly honored knowing that you were the only one who corrected me. Point is, I was just projecting a viable scenario based on some reasonable assumptions. I never said I knew it was this unit. However, thanks to your digging around, you did come up with a real scenario. And you even apologized for your off the cuff dumb eveyone is underwater rant. You also congratulated 1150 Folsom on a well timed purchase. I wonder if you got that idea from me. After all, these are exactly the people I was referring to way before you got your head out of your calculations. Granted, I was not as precise as you, but much faster at arriving at the same conclusion; people who bought some of these units, as well as many other units in 2000 or 2001 are doing well. That’s the only point I was trying to make and to add a little bit of light to what is otherwise alot of bitterness, nastiness, negativity, and delusions of grandeur from you and your followers. And I may say nonsense at times, I think the biggest nonsensical thing is you constantly doing and ROI on home ownership and looking at housing as a simple commodity to trade and whatever else it is you do with trades. The thing I don’t get is why you failed to see the opportunites 1150 Folsom and others saw, and why now you spend your time trying to knock those people down. And it isnt’t because you have a great rental and lots of money.

  24. Uh, just curious, why is there no apology from viewlover for posting false information, while he demands and mocks apologies from others? To post sales numbers for properties that turn out to be FALSE, and then to attack someone as valuable to this site as Satchel for actually digging up the REAL actual sales numbers is more than disturbing. I hope the editor is taking note.

  25. No reason for the editor to take note.
    in fact, no reason for anybody to get upset IMO.
    People post a lot of ideas. some are right and some are wrong.
    some can be backed up by empirical evidence (how much did unit Y go for in the year 200X) and some can’t (modern/victorian condos are the best) and some will take time (“SF real estate will depreciate/appreciate in 2008”)
    in this case;
    viewlover was clearly very wrong
    Satchel corrected him, but then made an erroneous statement of his/her own “everyone is under water”
    owner of unit 5 corrected Satchel
    ’nuff said!
    (however, viewlover- it is a little disingenuous to say “I never said I knew it was this unit.” because you clearly said: “I remember these units new” in your first comment of the thread. You did follow it with “I don’t remember the costs” but your post clearly implies that your estimates are somewhat close. )

  26. I remember these units new but I don’t remember the costs, probably around $400K, they are still asking 100% over what they were new. If they can get $800k, that is still 100% appreciation over 8 years in absolute value. For those that have bought back then, you’r still doing good.
    Notice the “I don’t remember the costs, probably…” This is not the statement of authority, just a guess. Also “IF” they can get X, also another hypothetical. I never said UNIT, it was units, and there were lots of them. Yes I did generalize, but never made a definitive comment like eveyone is underwater.
    Ok, they were $500K, so instead of 100% appreciation they will get 60% return, gross if they sell at $800. They are STILL DOING PRETTY GOOD, and that is all I said and really, the MAIN point to my post.
    This is typical though, those that only focus on the details usually cant see the forest for the trees.

  27. Whorfin, come by and pick up your backbone, you left it on Sixth St. the other day.
    1150 Folsom has had a fair amount of turnover in its short life. Like many of these projects, wide eyed buyers are turned on the idea of an ‘edgy lifestyle’ and very quickly realize they have spend the equivalent of the cost of a small single family house for what amounts to a one bedroom apartment with tall ceilings. Throw a new baby into that mix, step over puke and worse each day leaving your house and one of the ‘Valleys’ or ‘Parks’ or ‘Hollows’ start to sound pretty appealing even if you don’t consider yourself one of “those” people.
    It’s fun for awhile, and 1150 Folsom isn’t the shoddiest project or worst location out there.. pretty much.

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