I remember hosting an open house circa 2003 in Noe Valley and meeting two buyers from San Diego. Their first question was whether the property had air conditioning. I smiled and told them that we didn’t typically need air conditioning in San Francisco due to the The Bay’s natural cooling system.
Flash forward to 2019, and that question doesn’t seem so humorous anymore. Climate change has definitely altered things. My updated answer: Though older houses and small condo buildings don’t often have central air, many large, newer construction buildings do—especially in Mission Bay, South Beach, South of Market/Yerba Buena, Financial District, the Mission and Hayes Valley.
Almost 300 condos with central air were reported sold in the MLS over the past year. And at least half a dozen new construction buildings currently selling units come equipped with central air. These include 1731 Powell in North Beach, 901 Tennessee in Dogpatch, Mira (280 Spear), Lumina (333 Beale), The Harrison (401 Beale) and Avery (488 Folsom).
For the record, I did sell a house in Portola in 2017 that had air conditioning. And my client has ended up using it through multiple heat waves—including the one that hit us this week!