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September 28, 2010

How’s the Market In: South Beach

South Beach is one of San Francisco’s more vibrant and still-evolving neighborhoods. Residents have the Giants’ ballpark, Ferry Building, Embarcadero, design stores, and restaurants right in their backyard—and some of the best weather the city has to offer.

South Beach also has lots of condos. There are currently 118 units on the market, at an average list price of $973,106. And a handful of buildings dominate the inventory, like 250-260 King (The Beacon); 425 1st Street (One Rincon Hill); 355 1st Street (The Metropolitan); and 88 King (The Towers). A total of 201 condos were reported sold this year, with an average sale price of $754,219. Only 31 of those 146 units sold for more than $1M.

The highest-profile transaction was the recent 3,329-square foot penthouse at The Infinity (338 Spear). The list price was $5.8M, and the 3BR/3.5BA property sold for $5.2M. And one off-market unit at 200 Brannan sold for $3.2M in an all-cash transaction, making it the second most expensive sale this year in South Beach.

Buyers in South Beach tend to be professionals looking for proximity to Caltrain and the freeways, as well as empty nesters in search of a very walkable neighborhood. Pied-a-terres are big sellers, as a result—small condos that can function as second city homes. Nine studios sold this year in the area. One thing to keep in mind about South Beach is that many of the buildings are larger and have amenities such as pools, roof decks, fitness centers, and club rooms. So HOA dues usually start in the $500+ range.

Property values in South Beach have actually held up pretty well, as it’s probably the most desirable area when it comes to choosing among South of Market, downtown and Mission Bay. Certain buildings have been hit harder than others when it comes to short sales and foreclosures, while others have had a steady stream of successful sales due to the overall quality of the construction and finishes. If you’re interested in a purchase in South Beach, give me a shout. I’d be happy to help you sort through your options.

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