Infinity #42B: View (

Listed for $2,000,000 three months ago, 338 Spear Street #41D closed escrow a week ago with a reported contract price of $1,425,000 or $1,063 per square foot for the 1,340 square foot two-bedroom “penthouse” unit a floor below the top of The Infinity’s tower two.

At the same time, the list price for 338 Spear Street #41B was just reduced $1,900,000 (26%), now asking $5,450,000 for the 3,329 square foot three-bedroom penultimate penthouse unit ($1,637 per square).

And the crown jewel of The Infinity’s tower two (338 Spear Street #42B) has been listed for $5,800,000 or $1,742 per square foot for the 3,329 square foot penthouse with unobstructed bay views.

As you might recall, the 3,355 square foot penthouse #37B atop the first Infinity tower sold for $6,900,000 ($2,056 per square foot). Its views have since been obstructed by tower two.

∙ Listing: 338 Spear Street #41B (3/3.5) 3,329 sqft – $5,450,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 338 Spear Street #42B (3/3.5) 3,329 sqft – $5,800,000 [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by hangemhi

    the Infinity will go the way of the rest of the over priced SOMA/SB stock. as nice of a complex as it is, everyone – even those who got “deals” in the past year – are going to get hosed. that said, just above $1000 per sqft for a premium unit sounds about right. too bad non-premium units sold for that not too long ago.
    short sales and reo’s in the not too distant future

  2. Posted by Pica1986

    How is a floor below the top floor a “penthouse”? And someone actually paid $6.9M for an obstructed view? Are people really that stupid?

  3. Posted by SOMABuyer

    Are you kidding me?? From $2M to $1.4M? Wow. The buyer must’ve given the seller a really low-ball offer before the two parties settled on $1.4M. When I was looking at The Infinity back in early 2007, the sales people were selling their signature corner units for around $1.5M. Congratulations to the buyer.

  4. Posted by huh?

    hangemhi – Fully agree with your thesis about the building being vastly overpriced, and have believed that from the start. That said I concur that around $1000 psf for a premium unit (41D) is about right. Still, it’s worth noting that this price ($1,063 psf) is almost half of what ‘G’ paid ($2,056 psf) for his unit. This 48.3% discount may be the largest T2 discount for comparable units versus T1 that I have seen.
    Interesting how for 41B they are not gradually reducing the price but went for a clean 26% discount, or almost $2m. Watch out for falling prices indeed.

  5. Posted by tipster

    Only a 48.3% discount?
    Where are all the losers who were predicting 50% haircuts?

  6. Posted by MikeyP

    Silly $1k HOA fees. 0__o

  7. Posted by chomes

    @Huh? – you are totally clueless. It is NOT worth noting that the per sq ft price of T2-41D is 48.3% less than T1-37B. That is an apples to oranges comparison. They are completely different units facing in opposite directions. The B and C units have always sold at a premium – 37B is a combo of the two. The D units in T1 would have sold at a discount per sq ft to 37B even back in the day. In T2, the D units sell at a huge discount to the B & C units.
    You can compare 39B-42B in T2 to 36B & 37B in T1.

  8. Posted by anon$random

    pretty f-ing lame that te mark co can’t be bothered to take actual photos of the $5MM +units to enter into the listing. the stock photos of the common areas and fictional people in the fictional units are about as effortless as you can get.

  9. Posted by chromes!!!

    You guys are all clueless! I mean seriously, what relevance to two penthouse units in identical, side by side towers have to do with one another? Shame on the editor for even insinuating such a thing. Tower two penthouses have absolutely no relation to Tower one. Apples and Oranges!
    By the way, Tower two has no relevance to my Tower one unit. I am completely solvent and haven’t lost a penny on my ‘investment’. You haters don’t understand how great it is to live here. Just wait until the Infinity bus station opens up and the homeless move in. That will be off the hook! Enjoy your Hatorade!!!

  10. Posted by chomes

    You need to work on the reading comprehension skills. I never said you can’t compare the units in T1 vs T2 – in fact, I ended the message by telling you which units are comparable in the two buildings.

  11. Posted by marina girl

    why would the US stock market decline on worries about the solvency of Greece? they totally face different directions!

  12. Posted by TEJ

    @ Marina Girl
    I laughed so hard I spit coffee on the keyboard.

  13. Posted by anon

    “Only a 48.3% discount? ”
    Not surprising when the building management points out that there are process servers walking around the building.

  14. Posted by John

    Keep in mind 41D faces out towards the west / southwest. The pic on the post is NOT 41D – it is the Penthouse.

  15. Posted by John

    Also since folks are trying to compare unit stacks, keep in mind for the high floors before the Penthouse floors for T2, the D units are actually the two floor town homes at 1680 sqft/unit.

  16. Posted by amused

    I find it totally amusing that people that have never been inside the units (therefore have no concept of the value) would weigh in so heartily on a product they know nothing about.
    If you are shopping for $5m+ properties and have access to the kinds of people that buy, them then want to form an intelligent opinion about value I’d be interested.
    Sounds like the majority of hater – commenters are a few people that cant imagine paying $5m for any property, let alone one with breathtaking views in a world class city.
    By the way, people with that kind of money care about their investment for sure – but more collect properties like one would a fine wine, car, or boat. None of those make any real financial investment sense either. They just want the experience and can afford to have it.

  17. Posted by embarcadero

    @Chromes!!! – I haven’t laughed so hard, out loud, while reading a blog in years. Thank you for that.
    @ Amused – please see Chomes!!!’s post. You two should definitely meet for wine and cheese in those deeeluxe common areas of the world class city tower collectible property.

  18. Posted by chomes

    @Amused: I’m pretty sure that many of these posts are from the same person and it is pretty well known on the site that he/she is a buyer at another development and is having difficulty enjoying his purchase.
    His analysis usually runs something like this – the BMW 3 series costs less than the BMW 7 series, so prices have come down 48.3% on BMWs. Ultimately, that makes him feel better about his Honda Accord.

  19. Posted by mike

    There’s a lot of ignorance in these posts. If you can’t afford something in this price range, then you’re not qualified to dis the buyers.
    Take your broke ass home!
    (which is probably back to the Beacon)

  20. Posted by diemos

    “If you can’t afford something in this price range, then you’re not qualified to dis the buyers.”
    Yes, m’lud.
    Sorry to have spoken above my station m’lud.
    Here … let me doff my cap and step into the gutter as you pass m’lud.

  21. Posted by john

    “If you can’t afford something in this price range, then you’re not qualified to dis the buyers.”
    One can have knowledge (and an opinion) of the market and value of properties regardless of whether they personally can afford it.
    Should we inform American citizens that only those who ran for President are qualified to have an opinion on the performance and actions of the President?

  22. Posted by A.T.

    mike, sorry you bought a place in this building at the peak and have now lost a few hundred thousand dollars. Tough luck, buddy. But it could be worse. I’m not sure how it could be worse financially, but at least you’ve still got your sense of humor. Well, at least you’ve still got your health.

  23. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Ha ha. Broke asses that can’t afford these units go home! On the other hand, if you’re one of the suckers that already lost 6 figures on one of these lame-ass corporate-styled boxes then you already are a broke ass and you are already home! So welcome home Princes and Princesses of San Francisco! Enjoy your expensive box like a fine w(h)ine. Just ignore the haters.

  24. Posted by SFHawkguy

    And as a side note . . .
    Mike’s comment above disproves the consensus on another post earlier this week about the relative intelligence of the poor and rich. The consensus seemed to be that those that are relatively more wealthy are actually “smarter” than the poor. As the book “Outliers” argues, I think other factors more likely influence whether one is rich or poor–like to whom and where one is born.
    Mike proves the point.
    No Mike. Those that can’t afford the same crappy box in the sky as you have very similar brains. In fact, maybe you’re the dumb one and they are relatively “smarter” than you? Hmm?
    And let’s go to the evidence on financial smarts. How much have you lost by buying your shelter? As far as the last 5 years go all the evidence points to the conclusion that poor people are smarter than people like you (assuming you are recent luxury condo “owner”). I can point to a lot of “poor” renters that have demonstrated superior financial acumen than you these last few years.
    Lot’s of people can drink the HaterAid and you’ve been quaffing an elitist brew.

  25. Posted by Paul Hwang

    The Penthouse at the Infinty is a crappy box in the sky?
    Who’s drinking the HatorAid and who’s drinking the elitist brew?
    Here is a good movie for you to consider:

  26. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Philistines!!! (Watch the movie!)

  27. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Don’t know if I follow your point Paul but that looks like a good movie.
    If you’re implying that San Francisco has its own quixotic rich guys willing to drop a bundle on boxes in the sky then you better hope there are more to take over for guys like this:

  28. Posted by Facts

    Looks like the dramatic penthouse price cuts are an attempt to beat the grand opening of the Temporary Ten Year Terminal. Once the incessant flow of buses begins and the current Transbay ‘residents’ move to their new digs, there is only one way for prices to move for penthouse units and that is further down.
    Paul – nice short about the art of the steal. Your point must be that the developer has perfected it in ‘stealing’ from glass box buyers at the Infinity? I have to fully agree with you.

  29. Posted by Paul Hwang

    It’s an awesome movie. A lot of stuff in the art world is bull****, which is curious since most artist’s are looking for the truth.
    The story of Dr. Barnes is the quintessential manifestation of this dicotomy, as well as illustrating the duality of man. Man the creator, man the destroyer.

  30. Posted by tipster

    To put this discussion back on track, no one disputes the fact that units facing different directions can have a premium, but the fact is that all of the units are in the same location, share the same common amenities, and all the ones near the top have very nice views, no matter which way they are facing. So the difference between one unit in which someone paid nearly twice as much as another can’t all be explained by different orientations, especially when the one for which the nearly 2X higher price has views that are now partially obstructed.
    I think that, although it isn’t possible to determine the exact amount of money that continues to be poured down the toilet by all of the owners in these two buildings, it’s safe to say that a)it continues, b)the bus terminal will make it far worse, c)process servers combing the building to slap foreclosure notices on units will compound the problem, turning a disaster into a catastrophe, d)it appears that some of the earliest buyers are now down well over 35%, and some as much as 45%, and e) Paul has excellent taste in movies.

  31. Posted by chomes

    Sorry Tipster, but you obviously don’t understand the development very well. Yes, prices are down from Phase 1, but the orientation has a dramatic affect that can not be ignored in any analysis.
    Here are some FACTS for the 34th floor in T2. I picked this floor because all of these units sold within a few weeks of each other.
    T2-34B – sold for $1,245 per ft
    T2-34C – $1,189 per ft
    T2-34E – $833 per ft
    T2-34F – $767 per ft
    B&C face north & east toward the water, E&F face south & west.
    Wow, look at that – 34B sold at a 62% premium to 34F, and a 50% premium to 34E and they are “on the same floor, in the same location, share the same amenities and both have very nice views.”
    FYI – T2-41D referenced in the original post is the same unit layout as T2-34E.
    So again, the conclusion that prices are down 48.3% based on a comparison of T2-41D to T1-37B is just wrong.

  32. Posted by Roberto

    I’m curious, what is the right price psf for these units? Seems like everyone thinks they’re overvalued — but what is the right price to buy? $500K for a 2 bedroom w/ a view?

  33. Posted by Mike

    I think just about everyone who bought in the last couple of years is down. SF is probably down 15-20% since 2008…east bay is down in some places by 50%.

  34. Posted by Embarcadero

    I’d be willing to pay up to 5% more per month than it costs to rent, but that’s just my own comfort zone. Many people feel that the cost of renting should be higher.
    This includes interest, principal, insurance, HOA and the opportunity cost of the capital you’d use in your down payment (I’m assuming 3% per year).
    For me, the only real way to answer your question is to come up with some reasonable theory of valuation. For me, that theory involves a multiple of rent; this can vary significantly over time, but in a RE market in which transactions are few and far between, it strikes me as the most reasonable from among several imperfect methods.

  35. Posted by Johnk

    @Roberto. A 2 bedroom w/ View for $500k?
    You sure? Look at the Infinity 1 bedroom that Socketsite featured a few weeks back. Bought for $520k, listed at $599k and was put in contract a week later. I assume the final sales price will be close to the asking.

  36. Posted by CC

    The low level middle 2bds went for around 600k last year. Some even below. Can’t get that price anymore.

  37. Posted by Roberto

    Thanks @Embarcadero, interesting approach.
    @Johnk: I was more asking what the right price to pay is, not what they are going for now. It seems that some people on this site state that the building is over-priced, for some stale boxes. I was curious what at what price does is it worth buying — regardless of what they are going for now.

  38. Posted by Conifer

    Whatever price these condos in the sky sell for is okay, as long as they sell, because the owners, if they vote here, will bring sanity to local government.

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