Real Estate Report: Low Supply + High Demand = $1.14 Million Average Sale Price and 24 Days to Contract


The real estate people at Downing & Company have compiled their most recent summary of Bernal Heights home sales, calculated before Bernal Heights was declared the Best Neighborhood in the Entire Galaxy. The report for December indicates Bernal inventory remains tight, with relatively few properties hitting the market. The result of low supply and steady demand is (surprise, surprise!) an average sale price of $1.14 million and rapid sales once homes become available. Downing & Company says:

Single-family home prices in Bernal Heights ended the year on a high note. During the month of December eleven (11) homes traded hands in this neighborhood at an average sale price of $1,135,364. This figure was relatively close to the average in November that clocked in at $1,163,250, which represented the highest average price during 2013. Keep in mind with the relatively small number of homes that sell each month in Bernal Heights the average and/or median figures are subject to fluctuations due to high and low end sales and should be taken with a grain of salt.

The interesting question to ask is what’s next for this neighborhood? Recently, Bernal Heights was named as the hottest neighborhood in the country by Redfin. Will prices continue to push higher or have they hit a plateau? It will be interesting to see how things unfold with all the hype surrounding this charming ‘hood. One thing is certain, its still a sellers market out there. The homes that traded hands during December sold very quickly. They were on the market for an average of only 24 days before going under contract.

Read Downing’s original post for a home-by-home breakdown of the sales shown in the image above.

23 thoughts on “Real Estate Report: Low Supply + High Demand = $1.14 Million Average Sale Price and 24 Days to Contract

  1. The prices are unbelievable. When I moved here in 1966 a house and lot and an adjoining lot together were $30,000. You could buy a fixer-upper house and lot for $5,000-$10,000. I hope this isn’t a real estate “bubble” where people could get hurt financially.

    • When you adjust for inflation, $30K in 1966 comes out to about $210K today. That makes it … eh, only slightly less ridiculous, I guess.

    • Yea, and when I was born in the 50’s you could buy a car for $5. what’s your point?
      Bernal will get more expensive and I have no problem with that. It’s ALL about supply and demand and desirability.

      • noemonkey, what is your point? why are your comments often so rude?

        it is actually interesting in many ways to a lot of bernalwood readers, what homes cost in the past.

        also, you are totally wrong, you could not buy a car in the 50s for $5.
        This is from,
        In the 1950s a brand new car would cost on average $1,250 to $2,200. While these prices seem cheap today, they were quite expensive for the time.

  2. Just to be a hair OCD on the statistics, the average value isn’t the right number to focus on. House prices will always be a skew right distribution, so you are somewhat better off discussing the median price. The average price is skewed up by the very high selling price houses. In this case the median is $965k. That is astoundingly over twice what we paid for our house just 10 years ago. Any way you slice it that is outstripping inflation or the CPI by a long shot.

  3. There is room for a large, full-service grocery store on S. Van Ness and 23rd at the old Cala location which has been vacant for over a year now. I would so love a close by alternative to Safeway, be it Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or whatever.

  4. Can you say, “CRAAAASSSHHH” ? I knew you could.

    As for “alternatives to Safeway”, I remind people that Safeway is one of the few grocery chains with UNION jobs, meaning that people can actually make a living wage working there. I am a huge Safeway booster because, unlike other chains, Safeway has always tried to do right in their employee relations.

  5. Seriously, have you ever shopped in Safeway on Mission in the evening? 20+ people in line and one checker. Too bad they won’t hire enough cashiers to meet demand.

    The employees I’ve talked to at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are really happy with their jobs, so I’m not sure what they’re missing out on. Safeway employees always seem sour and glum. Maybe my impressions are not the same as everyone else’s, but that’s what it seems to me.

    And in regards to “Craaaassshhh”, talk to realtors. Unlike 2007/8 people aren’t buying with maxed-out credit lines and sketchy loans. People are buying with 20+% down, one told me half the offers he was getting are all cash. Banks aren’t playing games with home valuations, they’re typically estimating the value of the home much less than the selling price (and hence will only finance up to 80% of the appraised value). People buying are not getting in over their heads like in 2007.

    Crashes happen because people are over-leveredged, and that’s not happening at all right now. (It may in the future, but it’s not now). Also, the properties selling for the high prices have had lots of recent retrofits and remodels done to them. They’re in great shape and the buyer doesn’t have to do anything (if much) when they move in.

    The one thing I see happening is a construction boom- people want to move into Bernal and are buying homes in pretty crappy condition, and having to do huge $100k+ remodels to them before moving in to their dream house. You see this happening all over north slope right now (probably the rest of Bernal too).

    • Your last paragraph is dead on. We just finished a remodel of this type (not to sell, we needed a new bedroom so the kids don’t need to share). Our contractor had finished one Bernal project just before starting ours. He was juggling another Bernal remodel whilst working on ours and is now starting on another. The Bernal construction boom is more interesting to me

    • I’m a frequent Safeway shopper and have always had happy checkers. What’s more, if I’m in the aisles and trying to find something they’ll often stop what they’re doing and walk me over to the aisle I need. Whole Foods? Well, if you’re willing to spend most of your pay on their overpriced items, more power to you.

      As to the crash, I have predicted every stock and real estate crash since I was in my 20s. It’s really very simple. John D. Rockefeller said it best, “I knew to get out of the stock market when my taxi driver began giving me stock advice.” In other words, when there is a rush for something there will be a crash. Several years ago when I began seeing people lining up for real estate open houses I knew something was amiss. When the buyers began outbidding each other I KNEW a crash was about to happen. I pulled my money out of the REIT I was in the day I saw people lined up down the sidewalk for an open house in Noe Valley. Less than 6 months later the housing market crashed.

      Run-ups mean that people are operating under the “bigger sucker” theory: If they can buy and then find a bigger sucker than they are, maybe they can get out with a few thousand in profits. Well, like Ponzi schemes and musical chairs, some time the music stops and somebody becomes the biggest sucker.

      Bernal crash? It will happen. When will it happen? Well, what’s fueling the boom right now? Specialized tech jobs. When will Twitter crash? It’s only a question of time because they STILL haven’t made any money. A few years ago Mark Pincus had a grand prediction about how big Zynga was going to get, so he moved into a massive new HQ. Within 10 months he was laying off people. And Mark Pincus is more astute than most when it comes to starting and running companies.

      If you’re buying a home to live in and you have 12 month’s worth of mortgage payments in the bank to survive a job layoff or a downturn in your business if self-employed, then you’re probably fine. But if you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you’re buying your car on credit, you’re screwed, or will be soon enough.

      Just sayin’

      • I don’t believe a real estate crash will happen in SF: houses are not like stocks. Yes, there may be people who bought now and will end up losing their house. Reason: they bought more than they could AFFORD. But there are, and will be, lots of buyers out there who, in fact, CAN afford a high price now and in the future. To someone who “overbought” and may lose their house, then yes, they will call it a “crash”. I call it “buying too much”.

  6. Dear J: you need to chill a little bit, honey. My comments are often full of sarcasm and irony. Did you get that? You actually believed that I thought cars could be bought for $5 in the 50’s? Seriously? You missed the joke.

    Point is: Bernal is getting much more expensive now, just like Noe did 10 years ago, because Bernal is a great urban neighborhood and it’s desirable. And that’s reality, with no judgment either way on my part.

    • Pretty condescending. Unless J is someone you wake up with every morning, there’s no reason to call him or her “honey.”

      • Oh please. When will San Franciscans lighten up and not be so all consuming pc, and overly sensitive? I was joking, I was being “fun”. I was playing. Do you ever smile?

  7. Bernal has two big things going for it real estate-wise, proximity to a freeway at Army/Chavez and proximity to a freeway at San Jose Ave. Homes across SF close to freeways (i.e., close to the Peninsula jobs) are all slowly increasing in value.

    SF is becoming a suburban bedroom community, many of the Google bus types spend more of their waking workday life on the Peninsula or commuting to/from the Peninsula.

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