Purchased for $1.945 million in April of 2018, the two-bedroom, two-bath unit #27B in the Lumina tower at 201 Folsom Street, which “exemplifies urban luxury,” with high-end finishes and city views, returned to the market listed for $2.099 million in February of 2019.

Subsequently reduced to $1.999 million while being offered for rent at $9,000 a month, the unit was then delisted in April of 2019.

Listed anew for $1.999 million in January of last year, the list price for the 1,189-square-foot unit was reduced to $1.899 million, and then to $1.795 million, after a month.

And having been relisted for $1.749 million last month, the sale of 201 Folsom Street #27B has now closed escrow with a contract price of $1.749 million, which is officially “at asking” and with only “53 days on the market” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports but down 10.1 percent ($196,000) on an apples-to-apples basis from the second quarter of 2018.

And yes, the Case-Shiller index for Bay Area condo values was up 4.7 percent over the same period of time.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Tom

    I believe that some outdoor space, at the unit, is needed to really qualify as ‘luxury’. This looks to me like any cookie cutter apartment floor plan from the last 50 years, ‘high end” finishes notwithstanding.

    • Posted by Maurice

      Really charmless unit, despite the views.

    • Posted by Maurice

      Also, this is a north facing unit. Not the best views from what I can tell.

      • Posted by two beers

        The way the cutting board is leaning against the utensil caddy, that’s a 5% haircut right there.

    • Posted by ckd

      In addition to lack of outdoor space, the random half soffit over the bed in the master bedroom and the exposed fire sprinkler heads (vs. covered) are additional reasons why I wouldn’t consider paying top dollar luxury for this.

      • Posted by two beers

        Good point! That makes losing just under 200 large in 41 months (excluding inflation, fees, holding and opportunity costs, any “upgrades,” etc.) sound like a huge bargain! Could there be other similar bargains looming out there?

    • Posted by Kyle S.

      Is that really what it needs? Balconies are questionably useful in much of the city. I tried grilling on a friend’s balcony on South Beach one summer and it was a constant battle to prevent the exposed sides of our meat from freezing.

      IMO it needs a layout that looks less like a prison. Shotgun layouts are charming in brownstones, less so in sheetrocked hi-rises.

  2. Posted by Brian M

    Seems really cramped and narrow.

    • Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

      Everything that is wrong with this apartment was already wrong with it in 2018. That’s the whole point of the apples-to-apples.

  3. Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

    The promised hype around SOMA drove irrational exuberance a number of years back. Causing people to pay more than was warranted for condos and condos that really were not that special. As is the case with this one.

    This was going to be a 24/7 neighborhood a la NYC’s Grand Central Station. The thousands of people brought in daily on bullet trains and an extended Cal Train would support all sorts of retail activity. Art studios would flourish and a bustling weekend street scene would emerge.

    Now that “pipe dream” is over. HSR will not come to SF. The CalTrain extension won’t happen. Not needed as an increased jobs concentration is not going to come to fruition in the SOMA and Central SOMA. Dropbox just today announced it is putting another 400,000 feet of space in The Exchange up for sublease – essentially giving up what had just several years back ben heralded as the largest single SF lease in history. Oceanwide has been abandoned as has the condo tower that was to pair with it. Several condo projects on Howard have also been abandoned.

    Bottom line, there is no real reason to live in the SOMA. Yeah, good views but good views can be had in the Oakland Hills or Marin without the negatives of SOMA. Supposedly many of the units in the area are second homes for well off folk or investment (yikes) properties. Not the makings of a neighborhood. As if to reinforce the failure of SOMA, the Millennial tower is sinking again. An inch in a month or so. Yikes again.

    The irony in all this is that the up zoning which allowed big increases in heights on many parcels was predicated on HSR which never was a sure bet. It was a developer giveaway much as the Central SOMA Plan was. Oh, the plans of mice and men.

    • Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

      TJPA has been charging developers hundreds of millions of dollars per parcel for sites in the district. It is the polar opposite of a “developer giveaway”. In any case, 201 Folsom is not in the TJPA’s district; it’s across the street from it.

    • Posted by jenofla

      Sooo….developers were incentivized to build there, various buyers (wealthy people, investors, all those that we are allowed to hate) were left holding the bag, and now we have a bunch of high-density housing in a town that people say desperately needs housing. So SOMA won’t be a place of 2 million dollar condos, it might become a place of million dollar condos. What’s the problem?

    • Posted by not sure why this is all caps

      If you’ve ever spent time in Midtown N.Y.C. near Grand Central Station, you would know that it is not 24-hour neighborhood. Even before the pandemic, Grand Central itself closed between about 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.!

    • Posted by james

      No-one bought in that area believing that HSR was going to happen in our lifetimes. What does the Millennium sinking have to do with anything?

  4. Posted by soccermom

    Air quotes? Check.

    Owner losing money? Check.

    Every article SS has ever written about the Lumina? Check.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Inaccurate and counterfactual summary to distract from the topic and/or trends at hand? Check!

      • Posted by soccermom

        The story about the Penthouse sale lacks air quotes, but otherwise, your stories from June 7 2021, May 12, 2021, April 30, 2021, February 23, 2021, and February 17, 2021 all meet my (I guess really your) standards for Lumina losing-money news. I could go farther back, but I think the picture is pretty clear.

        Did you even click on your own link and check first?

        • Posted by SocketSite

          Yes, going farther back than 2021 might be helpful. Regardless, we’re glad we painted a pretty clear and consistent picture of the current state of affairs and trend!

          • Posted by soccermom

            So now it’s not counterfactual, it’s good reporting!

          • Posted by SocketSite

            It helps to understand that the universe of “[e]very article SS has ever written about the Lumina” extends well beyond this year and the extant trend(s) at hand.

          • Posted by soccermom

            Negative owner outcome Lumina articles on Socketsite:

            June 7 2021,
            May 12, 2021,
            April 30, 2021,
            February 23, 2021,
            February 17, 2021
            December 30, 2020
            December 7, 2020
            November 12, 2020
            November 4, 2020
            October 14, 2020
            September 21, 2020
            September 1, 2020
            December 12, 2019
            December 11, 2019
            October 30, 2019
            October 15, 2019
            September 26, 2019
            September 20, 2019
            September 3, 2019
            July 23, 2019
            July 16, 2019
            May 13, 2019
            January 9, 2019
            November 30, 2018
            May 14, 2018
            December 8, 2017
            November 3, 2017
            October 4, 2017
            September 8, 2017
            [Holy crap, a positive article about the grocery store opening in the Lumina] August 11, 2017

            You know, you’re right. It’s only the most recent 29 articles in four years that are negative. Then that announcement about the Woodlands Market store totally balances out the coverage. #toughbutfair

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Actually, you’re off by a few months (Nov 3, 2017: Luxury One-Bedroom Fetches 0.8 Percent over Late 2015 Price). But you’re right, there does appear to be a pretty clear pattern and evidence of a trend over that period of time, one that shouldn’t have caught any plugged-in readers by surprise while others are now limited to the benefits of hindsight or simply whinging.

          • Posted by wilson

            But were there good outcomes at the Lumina during that period which were not reported?
            If you are claiming distorted reporting you need to show that the actual truth of the market was different from what was reported. If your complaint is just that there was truthful reporting about a truth that you don’t want to hear then there is not much to see there.

    • Posted by thattechguy

      Bang on. Bad news is always better news than good news. We all know it.

  5. Posted by Realtor

    Buying a new “lux” condo in a high rise tower is very rarely a winning investment with a short to medium term hold, and guessing not that great a long term hold – inflation adjusted. Unless purchased 2008-2012 or so.

    Floorplan comments… This is a version of the most common two bedroom condo plan. Public space down the middle, bedroom on each side, windows on one wall of the unit. Hundreds if not thousands of them in SF. It is the most efficient use of space.

  6. Posted by Paul M Hwang

    It’s a good deal for the buyer, nice couple decided to stop renting. I can speak with authority and not e speculation as I am the listing agent and have sold $500M+ in South Beach; A lot of this thread is speculative and just plain wrong.

    • Posted by Michael

      Not a great deal for the sellers. Do you know who sold them the condo and collected a commission in 2018? What is speculative and plain wrong?

      • Posted by Paul M Hwang

        I’m not sure who sold them the condo and collected a commission in 2018.
        A lot of this thread is speculative and just plain wrong (i.e., Buying a new “lux” condo in a high rise tower is very rarely a winning investment with a short to medium term hold, and guessing not that great a long term hold – inflation adjusted. Unless purchased 2008-2012 or so.)

        There are good deals in every market.

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