Bernal Heights Real Estate Report: Ridiculous Spring 2014 Edition


The latest monthly real estate report from Downing & Company indicates that the Bernal real estate boom show no sign of abating — which is good or bad, depending on your personal situation. Either way, the average sale price in April 2014 hovered at around 1.03 million, with the median at $998K. Downing says:

April was a busy month for home sales in Bernal Heights. Last month 18 sales were completed at an average sale price of $1,028,722.

With the cat out of the bag about Bernal Heights being named the hottest neighborhood in the country and all the hype that came with that designation we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some recent price appreciation on a few homes in this ‘hood. Some of the results we found were impressive.

Case in point, the sale of 315 Coleridge Street. Back in January 2012 this home was purchased for $850,000. It just sold for $1,501,000 representing a 78% bump in value. But here’s the real kicker – this home was NOT significantly renovated prior to its recent sale. That is some serious organic price appreciation over a 28 month holding period.

Here’s another one – 3261 Harrison Street. Back in July 2011, this home was purchased for $842,500. It sold last month for $1,250,000, a 48% increase in value. And how about 165 Elsie Street. Its prior sale was in December 2009 at $862,000. This home recently sold for $1,315,000, representing a 53% increase in value. Like the Coleridge property, neither of these homes were significantly updated prior to sale.

Those are some healthy price gains in a relatively short period of time. So what’s driving up prices? The hype factor? Tech job growth? The tech IPO market? The severe imbalance in the supply & demand of homes for sale? International investors? Low mortgage interest rates? A combination of all these things? Take your pick.

Click through for a more detailed breakdown of the sales mix.

IMAGE: Downing & Co.

10 thoughts on “Bernal Heights Real Estate Report: Ridiculous Spring 2014 Edition

  1. On my block I have lived with the sounds of construction M-Sa for 2+ years thanks to the house flippers. :(.

    • It’s not because of the house flippers. They are just serving the desires of house buyers.

      So if you insist on blaming someone, you should go confront your new neighbors.

      • I’m not sure that’s a fair solution. I recently purchased a house in Bernal Heights because I love the neighborhood and wanted to live there. I would feel terrible if my new neighbors came and accosted me for simply purchasing a place for my family to live.

        It’s a complex market with the current state of the Bay Area economy and the dearth of homes for sale, but I can assure you that it’s NOT the right plan of action to be a jerk to people who are downwind of the economic changes.

      • Agreed New Bernal, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek..

        I’d vote for not blaming anyone.

    • It’s unfortunate, but there are also a lot of homes in Bernal with aging, crumbling foundations, outdated electrical systems, etc. You can’t insist that homes remain unsafe, really.

  2. The deep story here is this, isn’t it, that land values are the evidence and the result of community? They belong to community. The article sufficiently illustrates that homes don’t go up in value, land values do (they can also go down, of course). Location, location, location. It’s awkward for those in my position as a land and home owner to admit it, and it’s difficult to get plainly in mind because we’re conditioned to not make a distinction between house and land, but the truth is that homes and commercial buildings don’t go up in value, land values do. When that fact is recognized the world comes clear. The developers aren’t seeking wild windfalls in building condos and luxury housing, they’re after windfall land values. House flippers, ditto.

    Why do land values belong to community? Because they are wholly attributable to community. Owning land doesn’t give it value. And nobody makes land. This is old news.

    When housing rights advocates and the public grasps that land values are a function of the growth of community, and follow through on collecting those values in a periodic fashion (a property tax equivalent to the rent potential of every parcel), land speculation ends. Period. And the public is amply funded. And taxes on work and payroll can be severely reduced if not eliminated.

    In the meantime houses get flipped, developers lobby and fund candidates to preserve the privatization of land values (read the central-Chinatown subway, Rincon One et al, landowners and Prop 13, etc.), and the stories keep coming in about the 1% and Pikitty’s wealth distribution yakitty-yak. Pikitty, BTW, identifies privatized land values as the culprit in the opening pages of CAPITAL, and then pulls some commie wool over his eyes and yours by lumping land/Nature in with the stuff produced by humans, commonly called Capital.

    Thanks for the story, Bernalwood.

    • I applaud your presenting a point of view that is outside of the box of the commonly accepted rule set of our society.

      Yet… what to do with that? It sounds like you might approve of repealing/modifying Prop 13? I can imagine a way to modify Prop 13 that would find rules to keep fixed-income home-dwellers in their homes, but I’m not sure how we’d draw the line for lower-income home-owners who find themselves in the midst of a gentrified neighborhood. If there were some solution to allow land-values to be taxed appropriately but not regressively… Hm.

      • Say, bldxyz, I’d like to hear from you about how Prop 13 might get popped, yet still keep fixed-income folk at home.
        But I’ll begin. How about deferring much of the property tax until time of sale (or death). That way the rise in land values will get collected but not put the lower-income/fixed income person(s) on the sidewalk. The inheritors won’t like that they don’t make out like bandits, but then that’s essentially what cashing in (or out) on land values is . . . banditry. It’s a taking from the public to give to privileged private interest.
        What the public doesn’t ordinarily consider is that every land value rent dollar not collected by the public means (with public revenue kept the same) that another dollar of earned income by worker or business must be taxed.

        Give me an e-buzz via my site:. thecommonsSF(dot)org

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