Average Bernal Heights Home Sale Prices Going Up, Up, Up


Residential real estate is booming throughout the Bay Area. Even more locally, San Francisco real estate is white hot, with a year-over-year price gain of 19 percent in February. Naturally, then, as one of the most glamorous neighborhoods in one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets, home sale prices in Bernal Heights are up, up, up too. That’s exciting news for current Bernal homeowners, but it is also also troubling to others (and Bernalwood will represent the latter point of view in a separate post to follow soon).

Still, until someone figures out how to repeal the ironclad laws of supply and demand, the market is what it is, and so we bring you this summary of March 2013 Bernal Heights home sales, prepared by Downing & Company:

As the seller’s market continues, it’s getting more expensive to buy a home in Bernal Heights. During March prices were up for the third month in a row. The rate of home price appreciation in Bernal Heights is starting to mirror the recent gains achieved in the nearby (very hot) neighborhoods of Noe Valley and the Mission District.

Eleven (11) single-family homes sold in Bernal Heights last month. The average sale price came in at an impressive $938,091. This figure compares to the average in February of $829,429 and the average in January of $820,125.

The homes that sold during March were on the market for an average of 31 days before going under contract.

A few notes: 719 Anderson Street and 3 Bennington Street were sold as fixer uppers. The home at 21 Bessie Street was a short sale. The home at 347 Mullen Avenue totals 3,000 square feet and was built in 2011. The lot this home sits on was purchased for $399K in June of 2008.

For whatever its worth, if you knock out that outlying $2mm house at 347 Mullen — the most expensive home sale in recent Bernal Heights history — the March average recalculates to $832,000, which is still uncheap.

There’s more specific sales detail on each of the Bernal homes shown above at Downing & Company.

18 thoughts on “Average Bernal Heights Home Sale Prices Going Up, Up, Up

  1. 30 Elsie, a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, just sold for 1.18. It was listed for 799. I almost fell off my chair when I read that this morning!

  2. I wish they would include the average price/square foot. It’s not perfect, but I think it gives a better indication of trend than average sale price.

  3. Housing prices work the OPPOSITE of supply and demand. Why is that? Because people want to live near other people. This is why densely populated places such as New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo have high prices. Meanwhile, you can buy a 4-bedroom home in Alturas California for about $80,000 on about an acre of land.

    An example of this phenomenon is the boom that happened South of Market (or South of the Slot as we historians call it). Back in the mid-1990s, South of Market was largely small industrial and services — auto glass, body shops, machine shops, woodworking, etc. Then SF began to allow “live/work” home building (or as I call it, “junk condos”). This allowed builders to build sub-par homes (such as using particle board for floors instead of the less flammable real wood, etc.), build bedrooms with no outside light, and so forth.

    Tends of thousands of new homes were built on every spare lot Joe O’Donoghue and his Residential Home Builders group could find. So, what did this INCREASED SUPPLY of homes do? It drove prices UP, not down. Again, it’s because people want to live near other people. Now, South of Market isn’t affordable to most working class people these days.

    People in SF, especially those on the Board of Supervisors, are going to clamor for fewer home-building restrictions in order to increase the supply, thinking that this is going to drive housing prices down. It won’t; all it will do is destroy the quality of life we cherish here.

    • The development of SOMA coincided with a huge boom in the Bay Area, no? I think you have your cause and effect backwards.

    • I agree this argument seems confused. Supply refers to what is available for sale, not the total number of homes.

      • This argument is wrong, not confused. David’s “people want to live near other people” is what is called “demand”. And when there’s more demand, prices go up if supply doesn’t.

      • Look at the city of Brisbane, just south of San Francisco. It’s as easy to get to the social scene in the Mission or South of Market from Brisbane as you can from the Sunset district, and yet home prices in Brisbane are far cheaper than in the Sunset. Someone ‘splain that.

      • Brisbane may be lively, but it’s not the city, it’s not part of the transit system, and it’s utterly isolated. Try again.

  4. R is correct. Supply can rise (as in building new units), but if Demand is rising faster (more and more people from all over want to live here) prices will still go up.

  5. 1) We had a huge discussion on Supply and Demand the last time Bernalwood posted an update on housing prices. Perhaps someone can find the link so we don’t go back there.

    2) Thank you, Todd, for recalculating the average by dropping the outlier. But still, why do we keep showing averages of tiny samples (10 house prices) instead of the time honored Median? (And again, the headline is betrayed by the statistics. $832K is likely not significantly different from $829.4, and I’d be willing to bet the median hasn’t gone up year over year, at least not significantly.)

  6. Pingback: SF Weekly Roundup: Zipcar for Scooters & More!

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