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August 12, 2010

Yerba Buena Gets Its Own Neighborhood

One of the more major revisions to the San Francisco Association of Realtors’ district map is the inclusion of the Yerba Buena area as its own official neighborhood.

I’m liking this new designation, because I’m already used to differentiating South of Market and Yerba Buena. SoMa below 5th Street has always had a different feel, anyway, so we may as well make it official. And with the emergence of Yerba Buena Gardens over the past several years, as well as an improved Moscone Center and other local amenities, the area deserves individual recognition.

So what are the latest stats for Yerba Buena? There are 36 active condo listings (no houses in this part of town), many of which are located in the St. Regis or Millennium luxury buildings. It’s important to note that these properties will always jack up the averages, because they typically sell units in the $2-$4M range. There’s also BLU at 631 Folsom, which is also among the pricier mid-range condo properties (in the $800,000-$1M range for 2BR condos), as well as Museum Parc at 300 3rd. This is a ’90s property with around 237 units that still has appeal due to solid floor plans and a great location.

A total of 32 units has sold for up to $1M this year in Yerba Buena, at an average price of $561,238 for this price range. For homes above $1M, there’s only one reported sale in the MLS at BLU—a 2BR/2BA, 1100-square foot unit that sold in June 2010 for $1.1M. Another key factor in the averages in Yerba Buena is that the newer developments that are still selling exclusively via their sales offices (One Hawthorne, BLU and the aforementioned luxury buildings) don’t report every sale in the MLS. One trick to sleuth out actual sales? Have your Realtor look up the tax records for the properties. For example, only six units have been reported sold in the MLS for BLU, but there are many, many more units showing up as sold in the tax records. It’s a great way to get a handle on the true values in a district like this.

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