Nothing attracts home buyers more than a good, solid retail area that they can walk to from their new home. Consider all the wildly popular neighborhoods that have retail areas featuring hot restaurants, cafes, shops and services: Noe Valley, Hayes Valley, The Mission, Cole Valley, Cow Hollow, the Marina and the Inner Sunset, to name just a few. Buyers will pay dearly to be in walking distance of these strips, because if you can’t walk to anything, why live in San Francisco?
Blog readers and clients alike often ask me where I think the “up-and-coming” neighborhoods are. I think one of them is definitely Ingleside, particularly if you’re looking for a single-family house. Known for years as the area around City College in San Francisco’s southwest end, Ingleside is becoming more high profile as its Ocean Avenue retail area grows. The arrival of residential units, a refurbished library and of course, Whole Foods, has really bumped up the neighborhood’s desirability. (Click here for a profile of the neighborhood, as presented by Zephyr.)
And in terms of public transportation, Ocean Avenue has two bus lines, the K Muni line, and BART’s Balboa Station—not to mention proximity to 280. As a result, the area is getting popular with young professionals who commute to downtown San Francisco or the Peninsula.
Developers are taking notice of Ocean Avenue opportunities; along with condos aimed at the family demographic in the works at 1490 Ocean Avenue, developer Brian Spiers is in the process of obtaining entitlements for a residential property at 65 Ocean. These are certainly signs that Ingleside is poised for big changes over the next few years.
As if you needed more proof that Ocean Avenue is the hot place to be, the Chronicle featured the area this week in a pretty cool article.
Ingleside was hit hard during the economic downturn, but many of the home values are gradually recovering. The average price for a 2BR house in the third quarter was just under $600,000. So you can actually find a house here for less than the $1M San Francisco average. But the more spacious, well-situated homes (e.g., near Ocean Avenue) are already starting to sell for well into the $700,000s.
There was a time before 24th Street, Cortland Avenue, Valencia and Union Street first started attracting buyers and visitors—kind of like what Ocean Avenue is doing now.