As we wrote about the Book Concern Building condo #511, which measures a legal 275 square feet and fetched $465,000, or roughly $1,690 per square foot, in June of 2015:

Having originally been listed at $485,000, rather than artificially priced at 50 percent below comparable sales in order to generate traffic, a bidding frenzy and perhaps some press, the list price for 83 McAllister #511 was reduced to $450,000 prior to attracting the two offers which led to its $465,000 contract price. As such, the sale will still be recorded as “over asking” according to industry stats and reports.

And just how crazy is that $465,000 price? Well, the studio was purchased for $391,000 in May of 2007. So that’s total appreciation of 19 percent over the past eight years, or a little less than 2 percent a year, on an apples-to-apples basis.

Keep in mind that while the legal square footage of the Book Concern Building studio is only 275 square feet, that doesn’t include its good-sized sleeping loft which is technically ‘storage’ space.

Touting a “mezzanine bedroom” with a new Elfa storage system, and spinning the interior, non-view window as providing “an oasis from the hubbub of urban life below,” 83 McAllister Street #511 just returned to the market, listed with 414 square feet of space and a “$399,000” price tag.

And for those running the numbers at home, the HOA dues run $317 per month.

21 thoughts on “Mini Condo Listed at a Big Loss”
  1. The decline in price since last sold (assuming it sells for asking) tracks with the 14% decline in new condo prices since the fall of 2015. Of course this is not new and sold prior to the peak by a few months but the pattern fits.

    The appreciation from 2007 to 2015 seems low given the RE boom which followed the RE bust. It is somewhat understandable as this property violates several condo investing rules. As in do not buy a studio or one bedroom if you can afford a two bedroom unit. The demand for the former usually lags that for the latter.

  2. I don’t think I’d ever seen a stainless steel sink in a bathroom before…is that something trendy, or was this buildout just determined to take the industrial look to the nth degree?

    1. I think it’s to get you used to an institution, so when you go nuts living in a small space the transition is easier.

      1. I think people willing to pay four figs/sq ft to live in a former book warehouse/WCTU HQ are well on their way, anyway, but there seem to be a lot of them in this burg.

    2. When I lived there we called it the murder sink. They were pretty useless for an apartment where every square inch counts.

  3. I’m guessing this goes for “over asking.”

    No interest in living in a place like this or in this neighborhood. But this would make a good office for a 1 or 2-person firm.

  4. Prospective buyers at this price point and market are better off renting. What is the upside? Wait a few months and then tout it as “cheaper than a new condo unit in West Oakland?”

  5. Seriously? Regina Towers is renting 450 sq ft studios in lower Nob Hill for $1700/month. You can get larger units for $100 more. No one is going to pay $1000 more for something half the size in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. And there are even better deals out there if you look.

    1. $2,575/Month for Unit # 510 across the hall as of 02/01/2017 (but it is furnished, so not an exact comp).

  6. I have all the feelings. Is the low listing price supposed to be telling me that the market is going down ….”LISTED FOR LOSS!?!?!?!” or then wait, if it trades over ask should I roll my eyes about how those scurrilous real estate agents manipulate the market and try not to work very hard. I have so much confused.

    Oh, and you can count the number of places for sale in San Francisco for less than $400K that don’t have income or geriatric restrictions with two fingers, and the other one is a pretty sketch place out in the Sunset, so I like the odds of this trading up. I am putting the over-under at $450K, so we can argue about losses and opportunity costs again.

    1. How exactly do real estate agents “manipulate the market”? And if you think agents don’t work hard, you don’t know any (or don’t know any good ones).

    2. I don’t understand how you arrived at $450K for the over-under.

      The selling price in 2015 inflated by the CPI (yes, I used the CPI Inflation Calculator at the BLS web site) is approx $476,400 in 2017 so you’re accounting for the improved custom storage system as well as overall market conditions as just over a negative 5% impact on the future selling price. I’ll take “the over”.

  7. Horrible hood and no view, but I like the unit. I think you would do much better finding a studio in Manhattan at this price point, however.

  8. Just closed for $505,000. Up about 8 1/2 % since the so-called summer 2015 “peak.” Guess that wasn’t the peak after all.

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