Purchased for $2.4 million in the third quarter of 2012, the 2,285-square-foot Penthouse Unit C (PHC) atop BLU at 631 Folsom Street has just resold for $2.89 million, representing total appreciation of 20.4 percent over the past six years on a straight-line basis.

Missing from that two point timeline, however, is a third point for the unit in mid-2015, when the penthouse fetched $3.3 million, having been priced at $3.5 million and despite the oft maligned “short-term hold.”

As such, the more accurate accounting for the penthouse’s change in value, on an apples-to-apples basis, is up a total of 37.5 percent from 2012 to 2015 and down 12.4 percent from mid-2015 to today.  That’s the third point we didn’t have, but still made, when the 2,623-square-foot Penthouse D, which was purchased for $2.8 million in 2011, resold for $3.0 million back in 2017, having hit the market priced at $4.198 million in 2016.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Orland

    Sadly, it does not appear that the several residential projects proposed for the corner of Folsom/Hawthorne are going to get built this cycle. This little knoll is my favorite Downtown location to live.

    • Posted by Orland

      Come to think of it, the City has plenty of “Hills,” “Heights,” and “Mts.,” but I can’t think of a single “Knoll.”

      “Hawthorne Knoll” would be a great name for this microhood.

    • Posted by Oakland lover

      I agree this is an awesome area. Even if the price is down recently it’s still well over 1k sq ft which is holding up pretty nice. This area will only get better. If you bought in cash right now to actually live in and enjoy the unit over the next 20 years and see several more boomcyckes through… ya … would be fun. And would pay off no doubt!

      Does anyone even think that way now?

      • Posted by Tipster

        $2900 per month in property tax, $1000 HOA, $6000 in lost interest on a T bill, so you’d be spending $9900 per month to live here. Now add in $410,000 for the loss and another $130,000 in realtor fees plus 22,000 transfer tax, over 42 months, for another $13,100 per month.

        $23,000 per month. Every month for 42 months. I doubt the seller would described as “fun”.

        • Posted by L'UrbanistaSF

          People who can afford condos like this typically do not have or need a mortgage.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            That’s a rather common misconception. And in fact, First Republic financed the most recent purchase of the penthouse, as they did in 2012.

            But it would appear the buyer in 2015 might have paid cash (versus investing the funds elsewhere, such as in an S&P indexed fund which is up around 28 percent over the same period of time).

          • Posted by Tipster

            Mortgage payments in my above analysis: ZERO. That’s right, $23,000 is with no mortgage at all! Cash price.

            With a mortgage it would be higher.

        • Posted by Oakland lover

          Oh I agree. I’m not saying I would do it personally, I’m just saying the ‘hood is great.

          Even if I could buy it all in cash (and I can’t) I would still rather get more bang for my buck in Oakland and have a yard and better weather, but I’m just saying it’s a nice area. And will appreciate a lot in time.

          Foolish to get a mortgage on such a large $$$ IMO, better to rent / cheaper. If you are buying in this price range cash is king, just my 2 cents knowing buyers in the 2-6m range and thinking of it logically.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Tipster, how much would the owner have paid in rent during this time?

          • Posted by SocketSite

            The unit had been offered for rent at $12,000 per month in 2016 and was (unsuccessfully) seeking $12,500 per month prior to its most recent sale.

  2. Posted by Conifer

    Forest Knolls is not a single knoll!

    • Posted by Orland

      Yup, I thought of it later. Definitely one of the more obscure SF nabes.

  3. Posted by Folsom

    What about a couple blocks down into Yerba Buena on Folsom between 4th and 5th. New fine dining set concept soon replacing the old Lola’s. Virgin Hotels about to open. Zero Zero and Eagle Indoor Golf and right by the Whole Foods yet close to Trader Joe’s, Metreon, and Westfield and the highways. Yet a bit removed from all the foot traffic on Market and Mission.

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