Purchased for $695,000 in May of 2015, the top-floor, junior one-bedroom “penthouse” unit #813 at 45 Bartlett Street (a.k.a. Vida, “in the heart of the bustling Mission District”), returned to the market priced at $688,000 in May of last year.

Withdrawn from the market in July of last year, the 494-square-foot corner unit with “massive VIEWS of the city” and access to a shared rooftop deck and BBQ, returned to the market priced at $587,000 early last month.

Further reduced to $549,000 at the end of last month, an “at asking” sale would now represent a net 21 percent drop in value for the modern Mission District condo, below its 2015 price, despite the fact that the widely misreported index for “San Francisco” condos values is “still up 25 percent!” over the same period of time.

If you think you know the market for the Mission, now’s the time to tell

21 thoughts on “Mission District Mini “Penthouse” Now Listed for 21% Less”
  1. I hope the seller enjoyed their “massive VIEWS of The City” from this shoebox (< 495 square feet!) over the past eight years, because the potential twenty-one percent drop in value of this unit over that time period represents a meaningfully massive loss against their down payment.
    The inflation calculator on the BLS website indicates that $146,000 difference in 2015’s dollars would be the same as $188,967 in today’s money.

  2. “Penthouse”, now known as the top floor of a 4 story box in the mission. That’s really using the term loosely.

  3. I would not consider this an “apples to apples” sale. Let me explain. Before the 4-ish story building next door burned down, this unit did have “massive views” that you could reasonably expect to be permanent given how hard it is to tear anything down in this city. Fast forward to today, and the now vacant lot owner has filed to build 10 stories next door, and by invoking the state density bonus law, it will almost certainly happen. So what you’re buying now is a place with great views for now that will likely face several years of noisy construction followed by the complete obliteration of said “massive views” and instead those floor to ceiling windows will stare into a wall right next door.

    1. If you mean the 3-atory building, that used to be on the south side – aka: the one opposite (sic) massive VIEWS – it seems it was demo’ed in May 2016…so quite a bit of fast forwarding. And perhaps more importantly, the fire had already happened before this unit had been purchased; so the new owner was aware, or should have been, that the site could come into play.
      As for your belief that it will almost certainly happen: you do realize, don’t you, that there’s more to building that invoking the density bonus ?? (Little things like demand, financing…did I say demand ?) It’s not quite as effective as chanting “ABRACADABRA!”

      1. Not to kick off with you, But I’m pretty sure this view is looking south? Look at the photo from in front of the “dining table” and you can see the buildings on and across 22nd, the spire of Mission Presbyterian (Capp and 23rd), and I’m relatively confident that’s Bernal peak in the background, all of which are to the south of this building. There aren’t any north facing units due to the building abutting the Alamo Drafthouse on that side.

        The real question is only how likely it is that the new building on the now empty lot is approved and built to at least 8 stories which, as you mention, may or may not happen, financing and demand being what they are at the moment. However, to imply it won’t ever happen or happen so far into the future as to not be a concern would be foolhardy, and I do think it’s reasonable for a buyer to take the possibility into account when considering the unit for long term residence and/or investment.

        1. Good point! I believe that’s the former Samuel Gompers High School visible in the first shot so it’s def. South/Southeast facing; I should have been a little more dilligent in studying the actual photos, but my broader point was that (what I believe) most people think of downtown panoramas when the phrase massive VIEWS of the city is used, and new construction wouldn’t change that…since it didn’t have that to begin with. That having been said, I’ll concede the view isn’t bad, particularly for being (only) a few floors up. And the good news is that, because the unit is about 15′ from the (side) property line, and looks out over a landscaped roof, much of the view will remain, regardless of what, if anything, gets built next door…at least until something goes up across the street.
          And now for the bad news. Why, one asks, since it’s a corner unit, doesn’t it actually have front facing windows (overlooking that nice landscaping)?? Probably because it appears to actually be a common area. So what would be a great private ammenity if this were actually a penthouse, is really something of a liability, since this isn’t a “penthouse” at all – “junior” or otherwise – it’s simply a unit on the top floor (albeit a corner unit…sort of).
          As for ‘G26’s basic argument that none of this should have been anticipated, I still don’t buy it: again, the building fire next door ocurred long before the unit was actually sold. In fact, the building that was actually next door to this particular unit was (only) a two story building, so quite buildable, fire or not …the claim “given how hard it is to tear anything down in this city” notwithstanding. To what degree prople look ahead when buying property is a good question, but it seems to just reenforce the view – no pun intended – that many aren’t very well informed.
          If some skyscrpaper was actually going upunder construction, I think a case could be made; but at this point it’s just one vague future versus another.

      2. You beat me to posting exactly these thoughts. Furthermore, if development really was imminent, and the seller and their agent were aware of and motivated to sell by such view-blocking, then why would the listing copy be touting “a Penthouse with VIEWS” starting with the very first sentence? Are they trying for a rug pull? A bait and switch? While views are not protected, it would be kinda shady to advertise views that you know going into the sale are threatened.
        If they thought the development either isn’t going to happen anytime soon or wouldn’t block the views when the new building was complete, then the sale is “apples to apples”.
        I guess I am a bit more cynical than the average socketsite reader because I’m willing to say that the vacant lot owner won’t actually break ground at any time in the next five years, site plan approval or not. State density bonus law invocation or not.

          1. Please note that socket site removed the link I tried to post to the new plans for a 10 story building and replaced it with an outdated link to the 8 story version.

  4. Tho I have some doubts about the doubts on this being an “apples-to-apples” sale (see above), I do have my own angle. This building is practically on the site of the notorious “Demon in the Belfry” muders https://murderousroots.com/episodes/minisode-1-the-demon-of-the-belfry This being Halloween month and all, maybe, ole’ Theo can be called upon to incite interest in the unit (and since he’s been dead 126 years, there’s no need to split the commission!)

  5. If you think that Apt 308 at M1875 less than seven blocks away, at 623 ft.² and asking $923 per ft.² is “a glorified studio” or “an alcove studio” or just too small for a true 1 bedroom, then this one, almost twenty percent smaller in floor area, asking $1,111 per ft.² must be a remarkable achievement in what those in the S.F. real estate game call “unlocking value”.
    Apt. 713, on a floor down from this one, appears to be contingent at $1,166 per ft.² after a little over a month on market.

    1. If the best offer the seller gets is $494k, or just $1k per ft.², I would think that the condo will be withdrawn from the market and the listing will be removed from the MLS. The seller can re-list it once interest rates start declining and avoid realizing a $200k+ nominal loss.

        1. Mortgage loan interest rates can’t keep on ascending from the current point even in the medium-term. That’s not to say that we are at peak mortgage loan rates, but I think we are within months of it peaking.

          If interest rates rise to the point where very few people are taking out mortgages (and U.S. mortgage activity is currently at multi-decade lows), then rates will have to begin coming back down. Banks can’t continue to make money if few people are taking out loans, and many members of our nation’s haute bourgeoisie are bankers and can manipulate the country’s political system to serve their interests, as anyone who was alive during the so-called financial crisis of 2007–2008 is well aware.

          [Editor’s Note: Purchase Mortgage Activity Has Dropped Over 50 Percent]

  6. From the chron: “San Francisco Public Works employees are being offered bulletproof vests to wear while enforcing the city’s street vending rules in the Mission District, where sidewalk sales will soon be banned amid threats and assaults on city workers.”

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