As we originally reported in April:

Purchased for $760,000 in late 2006, the two-bedroom number 606 at 555 4th Street (The Palms) is currently rented for $3,200 a month, a rent which will increase to $3,500 on Tuesday according to the owner.

On the market listed for $699,000, monthly HOA dues are $544 and the property tax rate is currently 1.17%. We’ll let you run the numbers in terms of rent versus buy or as an investment (for which we calculate a CAP Rate under 4 percent).

The sale of 555 4th Street #606 has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $724,000, over asking but 4.7 percent under late 2006 when it wasn’t occupied and with a cap rate of under 4 percent at the higher rent.
To Rent, Buy, Or Invest At The Palms By The Numbers (Not The Heart) [SocketSite]
San Francisco Property Tax Rate Set To Increase 0.67 Percent [SocketSite]
To Rent Or To Buy, That Is The Question (That Only You Can Answer) [SocketSite]

18 thoughts on “Palm(s) Reading: The Rent Versus Buy Line And Rate Of Return”
  1. Wow….Down only 5% since 2006 in the Palms. I don’t think you would have seen a result like this a year or two ago. I think it’s becoming more clear that SF Real Estate has picked up in the last year. It’ll be interesting to see how/if that gets reflected over time in the CS numbers. And for the record, I’m not making any predictions on how this ultimately plays out, but I do think things have rebounded a bit.

  2. There’s one born every minute!
    If you want to get in on the action, buy #535. Listed at 399,000, down 38% from 2006 (and there’s been 14% inflation since then, so call it half off), and renting at 2625/mo. The Palms is ON FIRE!

  3. @anon (the troll): Do you mean the one that sold in 2006 for $932/sqft? Yes, there is a sucker born every minute, but it sounds like it was the person who originally bought this shoebox.
    @moz: yes, that surprised me too, but by all accounts rents is out of control at the moment. It seems like the going rate for a decent 2br is around $3500 and up….”decent” however is subjective.

  4. Got it, Lance the Troll (i.e. Lance the Realtor). It’s the old Prices-haven’t-fallen-at-all-it’s-just-that-some-people-overpaid.

  5. Internet. Serious business. Money is driving everything. Even values of units in this strange structure. Count the startups. Now count them again. More now, right? That’s a sign.

  6. anon (the troll) 535? a small one-bedroom unit without deeded parking — that the original over-their-head buyer decided to pay full price for — hardly an example of anything (except that it’s a great deal now). Moreover, the above story is on yet another COURTYARD unit — which socketsite seems to be transfixed with, btw — and yet the building’s health is represented there, as well. Anonymous troll opinions aside, The Palms has an ideal location within a few blocks of all the attractions (top restaurants, Caltrains, easy I-280 and I-80 freeway access, future central subway, AT&T Park, future arena, Safeway, Whole Foods) and workplaces that make this the hottest neighborhood in the City). Alas, for the blog trolls that still expect to buy or rent a condo in SF for free, their deluded, entitled fantasy will never come true.

  7. @moz, Avalon Mission Bay wanted to raise my $2800 + $300 parking rent by 10% to about $3400 total (with the parking). That’s for a one bedroom ~740 sq ft. They also said that this was a 5-10% discount to current market rate, and wouldn’t lower it.
    I of course moved out and bought instead, and it’s pretty obvious that I’m not the only one with this idea in mind given the low inventory in the area (all of the units in the neighboring Beacon got sucked up, including almost all of the “overpriced” ones that had been sitting on the market for months).
    Maybe eventually the situation will improve, but it is still awhile before new rental (and purchase) inventory come online in South Beach/Mission Bay.

  8. The Palms has an ideal location within a few blocks of all the attractions (top restaurants, Caltrains, easy I-280 and I-80 freeway access, future central subway, AT&T Park, future arena, Safeway, Whole Foods) and workplaces that make this the hottest neighborhood in the City).
    You forgot future Target. And future Central Subway station (which I already mentioned). And sorry but I disagree about “top restaurants” and “hottest neighborhood in the City.” The Mission beats SOMA in both regards.

  9. ^^^ Yeah, where else in the city could you dine at the best restaurants while wearing your favorite bullet-proof vest except for in the Mission?

  10. The Mission is sketchy to say the least. Some fine restaurants to be had there, for sure, but getting there (walking, transit), parking there, feeling safe there, etc. is what’s tough. And for housing? No, the Mission is not where it’s at as very little has been or will ever be built there that’s market-rate and not geared toward a 24-year-old hipster.
    Twenty-Five Lusk, Coco500, Fringale, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Marlowe — all across the street from The Palms or within a few blocks. And other fun everyday choices are within a few blocks, too: Zuppa, Tres, Tsunami, Koi Samu?? The Monkey, South Park Cafe, The Butler and the Chef, Brickhouse, 21st Amendment, Public House, Lucky Strike, Momo’s, Paragon, Town’s End, Nama Sushi, Osha Thai, Piazza, Lulu’s, ZeroZero, Ozone, etc.

  11. ‘bullet-proof vest’
    ‘sketchy to say the least’
    You must not get out very often.. The Mission is perfectly safe. Sure, it’s not San Ramon, but isn’t that the point of living in a city?

  12. Yes, perfectly safe. Unless you get in a fight with a bunch of gang members. Then sometimes, not so much.
    Of course, we can all pull random news articles about horrible crimes:
    San Rafael:
    San Francisco Marina:

  13. uh, I think that’s the point. You’re more likely to get attacked by a bunch of gang members in the mission because that’s where they live!

  14. ^ actually, other gang members are likely to get attacked by a bunch of gang members. For whatever reason, random violence and/or crossfire seems to be relatively unusual. And yes, I live deep in the Mission, and have never felt in any personal danger. And I’m not naive.

  15. curmudgeon, you are naive. There’s a lot of random gunfire and gang activity in the Mission. Gunfire doesn’t discriminate if you’re in a gang or not.
    Tell your story about no personal danger to the people living near Shotwell and 26th.

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