Yerba Buena asks $2,000 a foot to kick off Summer '19

The San Francisco summer is traditionally one of the slower seasons in the year, real estate wise. June especially, being one of the colder months in San Francisco (..crazy, right?), tends to see local residents run for the warmth. Less listings, less buyers, slower market. What is even harder to believe is that the entire Yerba Buena district only averaged $1099 a foot last year (2018), from the start of June through the end of August.

188 Minna St #32B for sale, asking $2,998,000

188 Minna St #32B for sale, asking $2,998,000

But this summer is not traditional at all. This summer, buyers have the luxury of choice, and the choice of luxury. Listings are abundant in all San Francisco’s high end highrises. St Regis, Millennium Tower, 181 Fremont, and the new kid on the block, the Four Seasons Private Residences.

Between them are 17 of the 21 listings on the market right now. The ultra-high-end of the market has been teetering on averaging $2,000 a foot for the past few years and it seems to have finally cracked it. The ultra-high end is now asking $3,000 a foot for some residences, the highest the city has ever seen. Pacific Heights (condos, not houses) for example is hovering just below $1,500, a far cry from the asking prices downtown.

It makes sense, after all, the average age of a structure in Pac Heights is about the same as the the amount of years these 4 buildings have existed, combined. Plus, the hyper local economy is going through the most explosive growth periods of any city around the globe. With 4 IPO’s within blocks of Yerba Buena, you can just feel a buying frenzy coming.

Sub 35-year-old product marketing managers with new money, C level executives growing into renown industry moguls, and the influx of major tech companies into the local neighborhood (Facebook), the birth of the high end was bound to coexist with the biggest local economy spike since 2012.

Yerba Buena Gardens

Yerba Buena Gardens

The IPO ramifications have caused a frenzy in the real estate industry. Every second question a potential buyer or prospective seller asks their realtor relates to the demand engine of initial public offerings. While the number of home sales hasn’t spiked, yet, most employees have yet to actually receive their payouts. The 6 month freeze period post IPO is becoming evident all over the city. Buyer’s eagerly anticipating their payouts are beginning to tour homes, and quickly learning the speed of the San Francisco market isn’t going to wait for them.

Theoretically, the end of summer will see a significant number of new buyers actually having cash in their pockets to buy. The question remains, will the ultra-high-end of San Francisco sell for the $3,000 a foot asking price?

Time will tell.

Tim McMullen