Purchased for $1.245 million in May of 2018, the 876-square-foot, one-bedroom unit #23D in the Lumina tower at 201 Folsom Street, “the most premier residential building in San Francisco,” returned to the market listed for $1.299 million in May of this year, a sale at which would have represented total appreciation of 4.3 percent since the second quarter of 2018, which is a number to keep in mind.

Reduced to $1.199 million in August and then re-listed anew for $1.150 million in September, the resale of 201 Folsom Street #23D has now closed escrow with a contract price of $1.100 million, representing an actual 11.6 percent ($145,000) drop in value for the luxury unit on an apples-to-apples basis.

The Case-Shiller index for Bay Area condo values was up 4.7 percent over the same period of time, which might speak to the disconnect between the original list price, expectations and reality.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    Let me get the jump on everyone else: you REALLY mean cherries-to-cherries ‘cuz properties are CLEARLY still going thru the roof and you’re just zeroing in on the handful of losers!!

    Thanks…always appreciate these little glimpses of reality.

    • Posted by anon

      Please post some other apples to apples. I know all assets are going up because of the macro environment. But I’d genuinely like to see true apples to apples appreciation to see how it compares with non-SF areas and other asset classes. Thanks.

      [Editor’s Note: Articles Recently Filed Under: Apples To Apples]

  2. Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

    One other factor – all real estate is local and that applies to the Bay Area. Sub-segments of the condo market have outperformed SF in general and SOMA in particular. SF underperforms the Case Shiller regional numbers so no surprise here.

    But yes – irrational exuberance was in the air in SF in 2018. Price increases would continue apace, HSR would come to the Transbay Center and many additional residential towers would rise in SOMA. New office complexes would bring thousands of new workers. The area would become a 24/7 center of activity akin to Grand Central.

    Well, that was the plan. Covid intervened but even before that HSR to Transbay was dead. Pricey condo towers and office projects were abandoned, and companies freed up lots of SF office space (Gap just announced 300K plus of its space will be put on sublease market in January). As it is, even prior to Covid SOMA was dead on weekends. Now? There is no reason for people to live in SOMA or the East Cut or whatever fancy name they attach to the area.

    • Posted by MichaelM

      Dave – why the constant gloom and doom about SF? This seems to be your mission.

  3. Posted by Rob B.

    “Most premiere”? As opposed to least premiere? There is plenty of nightlife within a short walk. HSR will probably reach the Transbay Terminal, but not in our lifetimes. Maybe Hyperloop will get there first.

  4. Posted by EBGuy

    Illinois landlord…

  5. Posted by soccermom

    SS has done a good job of highlighting the downward trend of prices at the Lumina over the past 6+/- years. I can only imagine there is hesitancy to show declining prices down of other similar era [tilting] structures.

    In any case, I think a more interesting question is when will it be a good time to buy at the Lumina?

    It’s still a very nice building in a nice location. People will always quibble about floorplans etc. but at some point prices will bottom out. This place just traded at $1255 per foot. Is this the bottom? Personally, I would expect not with looming rate hikes and a continued city-exodus trend.

    So at what value will it be a good time to buy in the Lumina? $1,000psf, (like most housing in SF)? That puts this condo at $876K. Sounds reasonble to me, for a nice 1BR pad downtown. Why not?

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