Purchased for $3.295 million in June of 2016 and then rented out for what would appear to be around $8,000 per month, the two-bedroom, two-bath unit #34C in the Lumina tower at 338 Main Street, which is “considered San Francisco’s best condominium project,” according to its Compass agents, returned to the market priced at $3.5 million in July of 2020 and then again in May of last year.

Reduced to $3.45 million in August of last year, and then to $3.35 million that September, the 1,491-square-foot unit, the H.O.A. dues for which are currently running around $1,250 per month, was then offered for rent at $7,500 a month.

Listed anew for $2.85 million this past July and then dropped to $2.7 million last month, the asking price for 338 Main Street #34C has just been further reduced to $2.6 million, a sale at which would be “at asking” and “north of $1,740 per square foot” (!) according to all industry reports and newsletters but down 21 percent on an apples-to-apples basis from mid-2016 while the frequently misreported Index for “San Francisco” condo values is still up 21 percent over the same period of time but dropping fast.

If you think you know the market for “San Francisco’s best condominium” units, now’s the time to tell.

21 thoughts on “Be Best for Over 20 Percent Less”
  1. A white box with zero personality and indistinguishable from the 100 other white boxes in the same building with $1,000+ HOA fees? Where do I sign?!

    1. An actual box would be a lot better. These weird shapes with the gigantic columns are not livable. A quirky apartment where you have to sit in your kitchen all the time, between two poles, _should_ be just about the cheapest apartment in the city.

      1. The living room has exactly 1 (short) wall where art can be hung. I enjoy having a nice view but I don’t always want to look out the window. Finishes are underwhelming at this price level

    2. I toured 2 units here in 2020 and I was really surprised how expensive the building was given the quality of the apartments.

      1. believe me, I think as little of them as you do – I’d just prefer to never have to hear about them again, even obliquely.

  2. $3.2 in 2016? Wow that is over priced. Compare to 181 fremont, where finishes are much more higher end, and views are higher up, now you can probably pick up a 2 bed for $2 to $3 million, or $4 million when it first opened at the height. 181 fremont sounds like a much better deal even back when it first opened.

  3. It makes sense that 8 years later after a global pandemic that radically changed work habits, the appeal of urban centers, and interest rates, the price of this condo is different from what it was in olden times of the mid-teens. That was like, at least a couple of Taylor Swift albums ago.

    1. Yes, and I would add that this drop is way more than condos in other urban centers, say, NYC (been keeping an eye on possible pied a terres in Murray Hill); they’re definitely not dropping like these SF units. The additional regional characteristics of a tech-heavy economy and proximity to Asia (and their current economic woes) definitely has an impact.

      1. I live in Murray Hill – important caveat that prices here have experienced some rise and falls but largely have been flat to down since 2007. Directionally we prob declined from $1400/ft to $1300/ft over 15 years with some big ups and downs in between. SF went from $1000/ft for highest end to whatever this gets, so still quite good for owners who invested early.

  4. Similar to #32E, using back of the envelope pricing based purely on changed financing costs (assuming 20% down in 2016 at 3.6% and 20% down now at 7%), I see the value for this condo in the $2.1MM to $2.2MM. If there is an offer in the $2.3MM range I would recommend jumping all over that unless patient seller. As an aside, no one in this building or the Infinity apparently like to have dinner parties with more than 4 diners.

  5. How did this place sell for 3.5 in 2016 – although there was a lot of momentum post-recession it isn’t aligned to prices for similar units in this neighborhood at that time at all. Comps would have been closer to 2M for units with bridge views.

    1. The 2016-era sale price was inline with other units in the development, the sales of which collectively established the majority of comps for other units in the neighborhood.

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