Speaking of list price reductions in San Francisco, the asking price for the “rarely available” corner one-bedroom unit #802 on a penthouse level of the Palms at 555 4th Street, a level which is outfitted with gas stoves and Sub-Zero refrigerators, has just been reduced for the fourth time.

Purchased for $770,000 in February of last year, the unit returned to the market this past July listed for $829,000, a sale at which would have represented total appreciation of 7.7 percent, or roughly 5 percent a year, on an apples-to-apples basis.

But having been reduced to $819,000 in September, to $809,000 in early October, to $795,000 at the end of October, and then to $789,000 as of this morning, a sale at asking would now represent total appreciation of 2.5 percent since early 2015, or an average of 1.4 percent a year on a straight-line basis, for the 670 square foot Central SoMa condo with a separate storage unit in the building and a deeded parking space in the garage.

With 20 percent down and the prevailing rate at the time, the 30-year mortgage payment for 555 4th Street #802 would have been roughly $2,800 per month when purchased in early 2015. Based on current rates, the monthly payment would be $3,000 at asking. And in order to match the $2,800 payment today, the purchase price would need to drop to $740,000, which would represent depreciation of 3.9 percent over the past two years.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by johny

    Pay 800k to live in a tiny apartment with a view of the building next door with a HOA of $600! Oh my.

    Stuff like this makes me glad I bought my top floor spacious 1 bedroom Inner Richmond TIC for 500k in early 2015. Better views (presidio green), more space, less noisy, lower HOA dues.

    • Posted by Sabbie

      Keep your eye on the TIC market, those fractional loans are either 1/1, 3/1, or 5/1 ARM.

      • Posted by OtherDan

        Yeah, there’s a reason TIC’s are cheaper

      • Posted by Frank C.

        So now you’re brushing up on your loan knowledge. I remember when you thought cash purchase was literally a cash purchase. Good times.

        Keep your eye (readers) on anything Saddie writes. He’s pretty baddie.

        • Posted by Sabbie

          Frank, quit while you’re ahead, you are only setting yourself up to look that much more foolish when the inevitable downturn comes. I’m going to start saving your comments just to read them back to you then.

    • Posted by BTinSF

      So I guess my 2-level, 2BR/2BA Hayes Valley-adjacent condo with views of Nob Hill purchased for $200K in 1982 was a deal? But sadly I WISH the HOA was only $600.

      • Posted by formerly%whatever

        What is Hayes Valley-adjacent? Civic Center/Tenderloin or more Western Addition (this not in SFAR map). Not judging, just curious as it is the first time I’m seeing it.

    • Posted by Eric Jackson

      Your smug level is high, but from where I’m sitting, you’re just as [foolish].

  2. Posted by The Swish

    Once that central subway is completed, this unit is going to be about as loud as loud can get.

    • Posted by donjuan

      You mean the central underground trolley? Anyone who thinks that will be a viable commuter line is sorely mistaken. Probably the worst transit planning in the modern era.

      • Posted by MP

        The trolleys go above ground about a block before the palms.

        • Posted by donjuan

          Yes thats the best part. If you board at the Berry st stop, you’ll probably wait about 10 minutes in the ‘subway’ car before it reaches the underground portion due to car traffic blocking the roads during rush hour, so you’ll board at the Brannan stop to avoid this right? Oh wait…because its only 2-car trains, it will be completely full by the time it reaches Brannan. The trade off will be sitting in the subway car for an extra 10 minutes in traffic or waiting to board for 10 minutes.

          • Posted by Pero

            People are so incredibly negative here. No, the Central Subway will not solve every single traffic issue in SOMA. However, it will be a significant improvement on what is in place today. Is the link between Market and Chinatown worth 1bn? Probably not, but I’ll take any improvements to public transportation over the current gridlock.

      • Posted by HousingWonk

        It wasn’t transportation planning. It was a Willie Brown payoff promise to Rose Pak and Chinatown merchants to back off from any attempts to push getting the Embarcadero freeway replaced after Loma Prieta.

        Removal of the Embarcadero elevated freeway was a long time goal of urban planning and waterfront activists for years, but they kept getting opposed in their efforts by Chinatown activists. When Loma Prieta accomplished what the ballot box could not, waterfront & other activists moved quickly to essentially keep the freeway knocked down. The central subway promise from Willie was a means to keep Rose Pak’s mouth shut.

        • Posted by HousingWonk

          Though admittedly, there’s a bit of myth to the whole story too, as far as Pak and Brown.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Is there a bit of myth? I’d wager there’s more truth than myth

    • Posted by g

      That area of 4th street is already pretty loud with traffic before construction of the central subway, especially with the buses rumbling down 4th. I doubt the light rail will be appreciably louder than the buses, except maybe for the bell signalling its arrival/departure.

  3. Posted by garrett

    i know selling costs are variable, but it’s another important metric to consider. after-all, the numbers being discussed don’t include commissions to be paid, inspections, staging, or whatever the seller had to pay for. not one of the greatest investments of all time.

  4. Posted by condoshopper

    reducing the price 4 times might seem like a lot but the total cut is only a measly 30K, which would more appropriately have been the amount of the 1st reduction, if the owner wasn’t nickel and diming around.

  5. Posted by Tipster

    Real Estate Commission + Transfer tax = $40K. They will already be bringing a check to the closing if it sells at asking. If it sells for $740K, their loss will be $70,000 for two years, meaning they paid about $6000/mo (incl property taxes, HOA and mortgage, after deductions) for two years to live in a one bedroom. Hopefully, they have some fond memories to make up for all that cash.

  6. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 555 4th Street #802 has just been reduced another $4,000 to $785,000, a sale at asking would represent total appreciation of 1.9 percent, or roughly 1 percent per year, over the past two years.

  7. Posted by ET

    There’s current litigation with the building which limits the mortgage options. That may also be contributing to the price reductions.

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