Noe Valley Voice December-January 2006

The Cost of Living in Noe

Baseball Slugger's Home for Sale

By Corrie M. Anders

San Francisco Giants star Moises Alou didn't waste any time bidding adios to Noe Valley, once the baseball team let his father, Felipe Alou, go as coach.

Moises' custom home on Noe Street, which he purchased nearly brand new in 2005, is on the market for just under $2 million--a price tag that is fast becoming a routine benchmark in this upscale neighborhood.

In fact, three Noe Valley homes sold for $2 million or more in October, according to sales data compiled for the Voice by Zephyr Real Estate.

But it is the manse of Alou and his wife, Austria, that is drawing the oohs and ahs--from local residents, bloggers from around the country, and prospective buyers intrigued with the idea of owning a piece of celebrity.

The asking price is $1,940,000 for the three-story house, located at 1407 Noe Street near Duncan. The 2,300-square-foot contemporary-style property has three bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, and killer views of downtown San Francisco and the East Bay.

Built in 1956, the house was completely remodeled in 2005, the same year Alou joined the team, in part so he could play for his father. The Giants announced at the end of last season that the team would not renew the senior Alou's contract--and his son last month told reporters there was a 99 percent chance he would not return to the Giants. (Subsequently, he signed a one-year $8.5 million contract with the New York Mets.)

"We're really getting a great reaction" to the listing, said Alou's real estate agent, Holly Peterson of Sotheby's International Realty (in San Francisco). But citing privacy, Peterson refused to discuss any aspect of her client's two-year stint in the neighborhood.

While the property attracted the curious to Noe Street, 12 families found other homes to their liking and closed escrow in October. That was two more than in September, but considerably below the 21 sales of a year earlier, when the real estate market was extraordinarily strong.

The 43 percent plunge in sales from October 2005 may have been a statistical quirk, however, since this year's October sales were more in line with the 12 transactions for that month in 2004, 16 sales in 2003, and nine deals each in 2002 and 2001. "We're running a pretty calm market this year," said Randall Kostick, Zephyr's general sales manager.

October buyers on average paid 2 percent more than the asking price, and the homes sold for an average of slightly more than $1.5 million and closed escrow in less than one month.

Among the sales were three multimillion-dollar homes, all featuring four bedrooms and 3-1/2 baths:

* A $2,750,000 home in the 500 block of Valley Street, between Castro and Diamond streets;

* A $2,749,000 home in the 3900 block of 23rd Street, between Noe and Sanchez streets; and

* A $2,265,000 home in the 400 block of Duncan Street, between Noe and Sanchez streets.

Buyers paid $1,349,000 for the most expensive condominium sold in October--a three-bedroom, three-bath unit located in the 500 block of 27th Street between Castro and Noe streets.

It was one of four attached homes sold during the month; the condos had an average sales price of $1.1 million.

Noe Valley Home Sales*
Total Sales Low Price ($) High Price ($) Average Price ($) Average Days
on Market
Sale Price as
% of List Price
Single-family homes
October 2006 12 $876,000 $2,750,000 $1,525,950 24 102%
September 2006 10 $947,000 $2,311,000 $1,378,900 45 99%
October 2005 21 $1,125,000 $5,300,000 $1,657,857 22 111%
October 2006 4 $821,000 $1,349,000 $1,121,250 58 101%
September 2006 5 $615,000 $1,225,000 $825,600 37 102%
October 2005 6 $677,500 $1,100,000 $839,083 23 113%
2 to 4 unit buildings
October 2006 1 $1,125,000 $1,125,000 $1,125,000 91 102%
September 2006 2 $1,070,000 $1,150,000 $1,110,000 35 106%
October 2005 5 $1,150,000 $1,805,000 $1,595,800 31 118%
5+ unit buildings
October 2006 0 - - - - -
September 2006 1 $2,350,000 $2,350,000 $2,350,000 27 94%
October 2005 0 - - - - -

*Sales figures include all Noe Valley home sales completed during the month. In this survey, Noe Valley is defined as the area bordered by Grand View, 22nd, Guerrero, and 30th streets. The Voice thanks Zephyr Real Estate ( for supplying the data.

Noe Valley Rents**
Type of Unit Number in Sample Range of Rents, October 2006 Average Rent, October 2006 Average Rent, One Year Ago
Studio 6 $1150-$1450 $1317 $1131
1 bedroom 11 $1350-$2000 $1661 $1513
2 bedrooms 16 $1650-$3900 $2619 $2489
3 bedrooms 12 $2550-$4700 $3328 $3378
4+ bedrooms 1 $6000-$6000 $6000 $4475

**These rent averages are based on a sample of 46 Noe Valley rental listings appearing on November 1-14, 2006.