8 Octavia Rising

With sales of the designer condos at 8 Octavia having kicked-off in July, around a third of the development’s 40 market rate units are now in contract, according to our sources.

And according to the developer, record-breaking prices for the neighborhood of over $1,300 per square foot have been achieved for top-end units on the upper floors of the Hayes Valley development, units with outdoor space, views and parking.

At the same time, the list price for a least one of the lower floor units in the building without parking was recently adjusted downward “to target a more value conscious buyer” and better “match the market.”

Originally priced at $995,000, a  listing for 8 Octavia #404 was quietly withdrawn from the MLS in July and the 1,001-square-foot two-bedroom was re-listed anew for $939,000, or $938 per square foot, last month.

The first closings and move-ins for 8 Octavia are currently slated to occur in October.

74 thoughts on “Record-Breaking Prices In Hayes Valley, But An ‘Adjustment’ As Well”
    1. Definitely. The side on Market looks like akin to Brutalist architecture. I thought we had finished with that “design” phase?

  1. We walk by this on the way to my kids’ school. I don’t think it’s that bad. Neither am I super impressed by it. Regardless, compared to the vacant bum pit that was there for the last 50 years, it is a massive improvement. Glad to see life really springing up around Octavia Blvd. $1300/sf is psycho (it is, after all, an intersection between effectively two freeways), but I’ve long ceased to be amazed by psycho prices in SF for mediocre places and neighborhoods.

    Also, this is not “Hayes Valley” to anyone but a realtor. And to extend the theme above, it makes me chuckle that a developer is over-selling the idea of being in “Hayes Valley” given that this would have been far from a selling point only about 15 years ago. The gentrification of this city is astonishing.

  2. Isn’t this really Market Street, at the entrance of the freeway? With a constant bum on the median (in both directions) begging for money. This is a big improvement in this section of Market Street which suffered from decades of under-utilization. But I think the prices will come down quite a bit. Sorry for the reality check, developers and marketers.

    1. God, the obsession with not wanting to look at homeless people by commenters on this site never ceases to amaze me. If you want to live in some fascist suburban Utopia move somewhere else!

      On a separate note I drive by this building twice a day and (as a non-architect ) find its facades a lot more interesting and even nice looking than a lot of the crap you see being built in the city these days. Much more bearable than the hideous atrocity of Vida SF at 22nd and mission which several of the architects on the site seem to think is beautiful.

      1. How is it “fascist suburban Utopia” to not want to have to step over human feces and urine, or to be able to use public facilities (like BART) without almost retching from the stink? To be able to bring friends and relatives around the city with pride, not constant apologies? Frankly, even to be able to walk around safely – I have had to go to the emergency room once due to an out-of-the-blue assault by homeless people, and they’ve attacked our dogs while out on walks (once a man leapt out of the bushes and started trying to kick the dogs, who hadn’t even known he was there). Are my husband and I “fascists” because we walk our block of Funston and Park Presidio once a week, picking up trash (much of which comes from homeless people)?

    1. One can hope that people who are able to pay over $1,000/sq. ft. for a condo will also be able to afford better window treatments in the near future — but right now it does look awful

  3. If you paid top dollar to get a unit with parking does that mean you have to wait in the monster Octavia Blvd. traffic jams each time you come and go?

    Though the access for I-80 is across Market right before your eyes, wouldn’t your quickest access from home be Oak to 10th?

    At least it you new home is on the east side of Octavia. If it was on the west side, wouldn’t you have to get onto I-80 every time you left and get off in SOMA?

    1. no kidding. the only one with any real thought or design originality. i don’t see any other projects with as complex of a facade. it might be ugly to some people but it’s the best performing ugly building they’ve ever seen.

        1. Thanks Jill for that well thought out response! Have you considered why it might have such large fins on it? They allow for privacy with floor to ceiling windows, control of daylighting, thermal comfort, and an ever changing dynamic facade. Not many projects can say that. It’s a pretty successful building, really.

          1. I think Jill was referring not to the finned Octavia side, but rather the blank Market side, with its county-jail-style slit windows. Honestly I have seen the exact windows on the Alameda County Jail.

  4. I guess some would prefer what was there, a freeway overpass? This is a great looking building. Although the Market St. facade is VERY dismal and uncomfortable to look at.

    1. no one said we prefer an empty lot instead of this? Are we not allowed to comment when we think a building is hideous.

      But to your point, I would gladly mow this building down to get the central freeway back. removing it was one of the worst SF transportation errors and there are many. It is more difficult to get to the freeway in this city than any other in the country. Ocatvia blvd is an unmitigated traffic disaster.

      1. Jill, guess what? I’ll sacrifice freeway access for for more homes that bring in residences and add vibrancy to a neighborhood.

      2. the central freeway traffic sucked too, its removal is not much different than the way traffic flows now, saying it’s more difficult to get to the freeway in this city than any other is hogwash, and Octavia blvd is trafficky, but it flows if you are simply patient. pretty much every single thing you said was hyperbole + incorrect except for the fact that sure, it’s fine to express opinion.

        1. umm obviously you have not paid attention to the approaches to octavia in the morning. The freeway access is indeed horrible. But, as you say, you can express your opinion.

          1. it is trafficky, yes, as was oak st back in the day, as was the fell st off ramp area, which often got waaaay backed up all the way to before the curve pas the mission exit

          2. It does not flow as people pop in on oak, page, haight and stuff themselves after the light switches. Sometimes a single car doesn’t go though a light change due to page and haight st entrants

          3. Guess what, Jill? I have no desire to sacrifice San Francisco’s neighborhoods and quality of life just so you can shave 15 minutes off your commute.

          4. fischum. its not about me. think of the lost productivity caused by 100,000plus commuters 2x per day x 15 min. it adds up. also, the pollution must be quite a bit worse with so many idling cars.

            im not sure removing the freeway had a major positive impact on the neighborhood. it was already gentrifying before it was removed, but it wouldve gotten nicer anyway.

            it is a transportation nightmare though and makes commuting a lot tougher, which is more critical to the economy than making Hayes valley nicer.

          5. Jill, you’re right. By your logic, we should re-build the Embarcadero freeway. Think of how much more productive all those workers driving to work on it will be!

  5. Its super sleek. Love it. I love how people in SF are too opiniated, perhaps a but jealous. They love to talk sh#t, #smug. I can’t afford it now, but it’s a great addition to the area. The price is not insane for the market, but if there’s a new foreclosure period, I hope I can buy it for a bit less that current price per sq ft.

  6. I feel like it’s 2007 and anything new will sell for the price record set up by the last project.

    That said, what would stop the current euphoria happening in SF? Tech crash? Unlikely for another 2 years. Fed tightening? They are smarter than the euro-austerians though the USD is going up a bit. Nah, I think only a big geopolitical event would shake this market.

    1. Yea, it’s pretty amusing. I doubt I’ll be here for more than another 2 years I’d guess, but as a renter just looking at this market makes me chuckle. I mean, when a big law attorney and a private school teacher that collectively make $240k a year are looking at houses in the extreme southern unfashionable neighborhoods out of necessity, it’s probably time to move.

      1. @Bob: You must be pretty junior if you two are only making that much. And you likely have massive school loans if you are like most junior big law attorneys. That may help provide some color on your finances and why you are looking where you are looking.

        1. Yea I make 160 as a first year + whatever bonus might be coming, and she makes around 75. Just wait till we move to Portland / Austin, the amount of house we get should be pretty hilarious.

          1. But then you have to live in Portland (non-stop rain) or Austin (miserably hot and humid).

            If you like your firm and the work, and you’re good at it, you’ll be making at least double what you are now 7 or 8 years down the road.

          2. You will take a (pretty substantial) pay cut in both of those places and have to take another bar exam. Not for me, but ymmv. Also have heard pretty horrendous things about Austin (e.g., traffic) lately, so careful with that choice.

          3. if you’re 1st year, your salary will go up a lot in the next 3-4 yrs. be patient and save. you should be able to save enough in only a few years.

          4. Ha. You will not be able to save enough in “only a few years.” (Assuming you want to have at least $500k cash first.) Think in terms of 10-15 years down the line. You’ll be fine then if you’re still at a firm.

          5. with $240K in salary, he should be able to save at least 50K per year. in 5 yrs. thats a good downpayment

          6. But nobody cares. You will talk about your big house in Austin all the time, people you know in SF will have their smaller houses and nobody that matters will care. Just do want you need to bro.

      2. @bob
        we’re a 2 professional couple that didn’t buy until 2009 in our 40’s. we had school debt to pay off and prices just seemed unreal so we saved and invested elsewhere.
        we didn’t have historic low interest rates and the rent to buy calculation always said rent (rents were so much lower even though we moved every 2-4 years; we never paid more then $2350 for a 3 bedroom unit on potrero hill). so we sat on the sidelines while friends bought and traded up and a few overbought and lost much of their net worth in 2008-9.
        now our duplex in noe has tenants paying most of the mortgage, refinanced to be paid off before we retire. we’re up 3 dollars for every dollar spent on remodeling.
        if you can hang around and save, i believe you will have a chance to do the same. for us it was more luck then timing but chance favors the prepared. we also never looked at single family housing and sought out income property which a lot of buyers avoid. even duplexes which bypass condo conversion rules sell at discounts to SFHs and condos.
        good luck.

        1. Same for me. It took me 4 years of waiting for prices to fall before buying in 2010.
          2008 was a bit disheartening to say the least, with national horror stories that kept being contradicted locally. But the big reward came in 2009-2011. I think you are in the right segment to catch good deals if you can wait for the next dip.

          1. I also bought in the bottom in late 2011 in my late 30s. I rented here for 16yrs and saved. My place just got appraised 80% higher than our price 3 yrs ago

          2. Yeah, paper gains. Same for me. The key is not to hyperventilate on the paper wealth and keep being disciplined. I’ve been through 3 cycles already, it’s easy to be a bit too optimistic.

          3. Yeah, that’s right when we bought our place (Feb. 2012). Appraisals are fine for what they are, but no way prices are up 80% since then. 40% maybe, perhaps even 50% on some low-end properties. Which is still a monster increase. $1 million homes in late 2011 are not now selling for $1.8 million. So don’t play 2006 and do a refi cash out and spend that “banked” gain!

      3. You should really consider moving out of SF but stay in the Bay if you plan to have kids. SF is small, weird and cold. We moved and I feel a lot of weight off my shoulders

        Good luck. It is hard to compete without stock options or rich parents. The 4k a month mortgage is not that hard at a high salary.

    2. I don’t think even an earthquake would do damage to the SF economy (unless it was so catastrophic the whole city is leveled, but then Silicon Valley and the entire country would tank as well). If anything an earthquake would be a huge opportunity for developers because it would clear out the old stock of shaky stick frame Victorians.

      1. Most Victorians are pretty solid and survived the 1906 earthquake just fine. Large quake is much more likely to wipe out the housing stock built in the 50’s, particularly apartment buildings with garages underneath.

        1. Only to the extent the Vics have new foundations and have been fully seismically retrofitted (which many have not). Buildings from the 50s were generally built with steel in their foundations; pre-war buildings were not. In general, housing stock from the 50s will fare much better than Victorians in a quake.

          1. Many of these post war 50s and 60s structures have tuck under parking, the entire ground floor being supported by no more than a few baseball bats. Can’t say I’ll miss them, though.

          2. I think we will find some of the greatest damage occuring in buildings from the 20’s. These make up many of the corner “soft-story” buildings and were not built to withstand a sizeable earthquake. Although SF is known as a city of Victorians, much of our housing consists of homes and multi-unit buildings built during the roaring 20’s. As with the 1906 earthquake, fire will also be a factor in destroying a material portion of the city if we were to have a major earthquake (89 was not the “big one”).

          3. Most of the surviving Victorians are on hills (which is why they survived 1906) and will do fine. The newer (whether 1920s or 1970s) buildings on infill in the Marina, FiDi, South Beach, etc. may not be so lucky. Even western SoMa suffers from severe liquifaction risk: San Francisco is Sinking!

            (Disclaimer: I am *not* a streetsblog person 🙂 this is just a particularly good article.)

  7. $1,300 psf is nothing for new construction it seems. Check out the recent sale of a unit at the once maligned and ridiculed One Rincon which went for $2,070 psf just yesterday. I believe the unit was owned by a realtor named Paul Hwang who used to post here.

  8. fyi – Yes, the side facing east is brutal, but it will be totally hidden behind a new building on the adjacent parcel at some point, probably within the next 5-10 years, probably on the sooner side than the later side. An preliminary project application was filed in March for 1740 Market for an 85′ tall building consistent with the zoning (and the height of 8 Octavia). So this blank property line facade is a temporary condition. Unlike say, the Thom Maynes Federal Building which is skyline monstrosity never to be hidden.

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