Bernal Heights Real Estate Report: Median Home Prices Near $1.5M, Up 9% in 2017

Photo: Aerial view of Bernal Hill, by the Bernalwood Air Force

Bernal neighbors Michael Minson and Danielle Lazier work by day as local realtors. Naturally, as neighbors, they also pay close attention to the housing market here in Bernal Heights.

Recently, Neighbors Michael and Danielle published a Bernal housing market summary that captures the overall sales results from 2017. Their not-surprising conclusion:  Median home prices in Bernal Heights continued to climb, hitting $1.476 million last year, or a 9% gain over 2016.

(For comparison/nostalgia’s sake, consider that the median Bernal home price in 2012 was $775,000.)

The basic story here remains unchanged: Bernal’s very limited housing supply, coupled with strong demand and a vibrant local economy, continues to push up prices. Homes in Bernal Heights spend a median of just 14 days on the market before selling, and when they do, they go for an average of 18% over the asking price.

Now let’s hand it over to Neighbors Michael and Danielle for their full report:

2017 was yet another record year for real estate in Bernal Heights.

The median sale price soared to $1.476M, a 9% gain over last year and almost double the median sale price from only five years ago ($775k in 2012). The Bernal Heights market had been slowing over the past three years, but that trend reversed in 2017.

The median price per square foot for single family houses broke the $1k/ft barrier and settled at $1,022/ft by year-end. 195 homes were sold in 2017, which is 14% more than last year and the most since 2005.

Four homes joined the $3M club, an exclusive group that only 9 families can claim in the history of Bernal, with the crown belonging to 88 Montcalm ($3.85M). There were 30 homes sold between $2M-$3M this year and only 65 ever.

We believe the Bernal Real Estate market will remain strong as San Francisco wage growth and employment are high, but may slow somewhat due to macroeconomic factors related to a reduction in the tax deductions and rising interest rates.

The $750k cap on the mortgage interest deduction and the $10k cap on state and local property and income tax deductions will make home ownership slightly less attractive in general, and will affect most new buyers in Bernal. The National Association of Realtors forecasts mortgage rates will average 4.6% throughout the year and reach 5.0% (for a 30 year fixed) by the end.

Taxes are not a primary driver, but rather an added benefit for most people searching for a primary residence in San Francisco and this change will have a minor impact, if any, on housing prices.

Millennials are a driving force in today’s housing market as the largest cohort turns 30 in 2020. Bernal is a very attractive neighborhood because of its proximity to the city, views, weather, distinct vibe and relative affordability when compared to Noe Valley, Glen Park and Potrero Hill.

With Bernalwood’s permission, Neighbors Michael and Danielle used Bernalwood’s Bernal Heights microhoods map to take a granular look at prices in different areas of Bernal:

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