Listed for $1.17 million, or roughly $768 per square foot, in January 2015, the ClockTower loft unit #C322 at 461 2nd Street quickly sold for an “over asking!” price of $1.45 million, or roughly $951 per square foot, and closed escrow within three weeks of being listed.

This past April, the “sophisticated top floor live/work loft” with “generous space to entertain” and a “spa-like master bath with double vanity featuring Boyi Modern LED Waterfall Faucets, and large walk-in steam shower by Michele Magowan Design” returned to the market listed for $1.395 million or roughly $915 per square foot.

Reduced to $1.3 million in June, the listing was withdrawn in July. And on Monday, 421 2nd Street #C322 returned to the MLS listed anew for “$995,000,” a sale at which would represent a 31.4 percent drop in value for the loft since early 2015 or “over asking!” if a dollar more.

If you think you know the loft market in South Beach, now’s the time to tell.

27 thoughts on “Angling for a Bidding War to Fetch a 2015 Price”
    1. Whoa. That place is ridiculously nice and Clocktower lofts is one of the best loft properties in SF. The bathroom is particularly great.

      But prices in the city are falling like a rock and are certainly under 2015 by a lot, so I’ll temper my guess: 1.220. The owners appear to have already moved out of the area and are likely to be *desperate* to sell, so price discovery is going to hit hard on this one.

      To see what their rock bottom price is, if they put down 20% and made payments, at 1.150, they’ll lose their entire down payment and all their principal payments. Will they really bring $70,000 to the closing to pay for the realtor/transfer taxes and staging fees? My guess is no. So they’ll hold out for 1.220 or do a short sale or foreclosure. So my guess is 1.220, or maybe a little under, or they won’t sell it at all.

      If it stays active for more than 2 weeks, they couldn’t get 1.220, and this was just a ploy to force the lender to do a short sale.

      As for freeways, dated, etc. I’m pretty sure they didn’t move the freeway in the last two years. Just a bunch of excuses.

      1. “prices in the city are falling like a rock and are certainly under 2015 by a lot” – Huh, my condo is in escrow to close at 2% more than an identical unit sold in my complex in 2015. Perhaps various neighborhoods and units are performing differently. Are some units down, yes certainly. Are all units down a lot from 2015? No.

        Also, this unit closed in 3 weeks in 2015. I doubt it was done with a traditional 20% down/80% mortgage. So your speculation about them having to bring money to close if it sells for less than 1.22 or a do short sale/foreclosure is likely just as true as your apparent belief that prices for everything city wide are down a lot from 2015.

      2. In other alt-news, NASDAQ is “certainly under 2015 by a lot.” Not really – hit a record high today, just as the case shiller SF condo index also hit a record high in Tuesday’s report.

      3. Sold for 1.250, pretty close to my guess, and a stunning $270,000 loss. About the same 16% drop we’re seeing all over.

          1. And certainly don’t continue to conflate the broader measure of condo values across the San Francisco Bay Area, the market segments of which aren’t moving in lockstep, with what’s happening locally.

            Speaking of which, based on recent comparable condo sales around the ClockTower, Redfin is currently estimating the market for this unit peaked around the end of 2015 (sound familiar?) and has since dropped around 7 percent.

    2. Based on the rounded windows and the fact that you can see the freeway from the living room, I would say yes. And the finishes are very dated.

    3. Yes: a bit of detective work consulting one of the online mapsites will confirm it’s on the third floor, facing east toward the Bay Bridge onramp.

  1. C’mon, this place is quite unique in it’s style and location, therefore hardly representative of the broader condo/loft market in SoMa. It’s like looking at the price change for a 1963 Corvette and then concluding that the overall used car market is strengthening or weakening.

    1. I love everything about the Clocktower except loft bedrooms. The top unit that was on the market earlier this year was pretty cool, though.

  2. There was a time where it didn’t matter if a condo was cookie-cutter high-rise, compromised in some way, or had a bad sales strategy – it would still sell quickly in most cases. I think everyone agrees that time is over in the condo market in SF itself?

    I’m not sure the editors are trying to posit more than that, but that’s just my read. Seems like the broader condo market has normalized to a slower growth period, where you can’t really afford to screw up, but still mostly positive. That feels quite different from the recent past, but is probably healthy.

    1. I’m guessing this will go for more than asking – even per the Mark numbers, a 31% drop would be a very unusual outlier. Plus Mark applies to new construction and existing condos seem to be faring better pricewise than the new units.

      Don’t know if there is anything “wrong” with the building per se. I don’t like the look – a splash of plain gray paint was all they needed to get units in the building to sell for lofty prices. In the day cookie cutter units sold no matter what. Unfortunately, that lead to refurbished buildings like this not being “upgraded” by the owners prior to selling. The Pearl has some older building that was plain but the owners put in awnings, roof treatments, did great color combos with the exterior painting and greened the surroundings – even though by SF standards they were already green.

      The condo market in SF is not over. it is just reverting to a normal appreciation along the lines of national appreciation numbers. Buyers will be more particular in what they pay and what they expect in a condo unit now that the huge appreciation days are over for the near and mid-term future.

      1. Seems about right. To me it appears the market for new condos is softer than the market for existing units, and that overall the resale condo market is about where it was in 2015 on average, which means depending on the specifics of a unit, you could see it go for more than 2015, or less. Some of the factors are neighborhood, finishes, parking, etc. Seems more of a traditional market rather than an everything sells quickly for overasking, that we experienced for a few years, or the doom and gloom years at the beginning of the decade.

        1. SF RE will become a little less commoditized as prices stabilize and appreciation tracks the national numbers. That means fewer investors (many, most of whom are shifting their portfolios to the NW, Reno and points East) and SF investors generally cared much about livability factors as long as they could make a quick turnaround and lots of money. I

          It also means those who purchase to own won’t/can’t assume a huge appreciation over 3 or so years at which they can move on to a better property. They will indeed pay more attention to neighborhood, finishes, parking etc. Buyers will be less likely to “settle” as has been the case during the boom when much of the newly built housing stock has been quite mediocre. Unremarkable projects such as the planned Sixth Street housing blocks will face a more difficult time commanding top dollar – as it is 2 of the 4 proposals have been put up for sale as entitlements rather than being built. Of course, those units in the city that are truly nice will fare belter and be in more demand.

  3. Does anyone know if this building is well-insulated? If not, that bedroom loft is going to be hot as hell on nice summer days.

  4. I once lived near the freeway and the amount of soot that gets on your windows in a short amount of time was incredible. I can only imagine it’s worse having windows of that size even closer to the freeway in terms of air and noise pollution.

  5. The huge problem with this place is that the absurd congestion on the 80 is causing very bad pollution. In 20 years we will have more EVs on the road and self-driving, which will solve the problem in two ways: cars will move much faster and most will have zero exhaust.

    You would have to be crazy to live ON TOP of the highway. One or two blocks away is just fine but on top of it?! Look at this map in SFC.

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