| June 2013
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By Corrie M. Anders
A house on Alvarado Street boasting a kitchen with marble countertops, a verdant garden, and an architectural pedigree was the focus of a bidding war in April. With eight parties vying for the property, the home sold in less than two weeks for more than $3.5 million. Photo courtesy Open Homes Photography
Buyers in Noe Valley purchased 17 single-family homes in April, fueling a red-hot seller’s market that drove the average price of a house beyond $2 million. Three of the residential properties sold for at least $3 million apiece, and not a single property sold for less than $1 million.
The number of house sales, two more than in March, was the same as in April 2012, according to data supplied to the Noe Valley Voice by Zephyr Real Estate. But the average price rose 30 percent from year to year, as heavy springtime demand in a strong economy overwhelmed the neighborhood’s inventory of homes for sale.
The supply of homes has been paltry for months, and “that has created this fierce competition for properties,” said Randall Kostick, Zephyr’s general sales manager. “It was particularly fierce” for home shoppers who closed escrow in April.
Scarcity also bred rivalry in the condominium market. Buyers purchased six condos—paying far above their asking price—compared with eight sales in a more even market in April a year ago.
But the spotlight clearly was on the detached home activity, as buyers sought to win over sellers with aggressive overbids and cash purchases.
“More than 50 percent of [the buyers] are coming in with all cash,” said Kostick, and most say they are drawn to Noe Valley’s central location, small-town charm, and mix of Victorian and contemporary dwellings.
Eight of the April houses sold for $2 million-plus, and the veteran real estate watcher said it was the first time he could recall that three Noe Valley homes had hit the $3 million mark in a single month.
Those high-end dwellings, many of them luxuriously renovated, pushed the average house price to $2 million. “That’s significant,” said Kostick, adding that 14 of the 17 homes were sold at above asking price.
Buyers anteed up $625,000 more than the $2,950,000 asking price for a swank home on Alvarado Street between Castro and Noe streets. The property sold in 11 days for $3,575,000, and the 22 percent bonus made it the most expensive sale in April.
“We were very pleased. It was definitely beyond expectation,” said San Francisco architect David Armour, who spent three years renovating the dwelling as his personal residence.
The property, which homebuilder John Anderson originally built in the wake of the 1906 earthquake, featured four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, one-car parking, a gourmet kitchen, a wine cellar, and a lush rear garden.
The contemporary remodel attracted eight offers—seven of them for all cash, said Armour’s real estate agent, Rebecca Schumacher of Sotheby’s International Realty. The prospective buyers were all under 40 years old, mostly working in high-tech or the private equities market, she said.
Equally impressive were the two other $3 million sales in April.
Buyers paid an even $3 million for a four-bedroom, 3.5-bath remodeled home in the 4000 block of 26th Street between Noe and Sanchez streets. The Stick Victorian, with 3,058 square feet of space and parking for two cars, closed escrow in six days for 8 percent over the $2,775,000 asking price.
Selling for $3,230,000 was a four-bedroom, 3.5-bath home constructed last year in the 1500 block of Noe Street between 28th and Valley streets. Ironically, the 3,400-square-foot house, with two-car parking, sauna, and panoramic views, had languished on the market for more than five months with a list price of $3,599,000.
In the condo derby, the average cost in April was nearly $1,200,000. The most expensive unit—selling for $1,710,000, about 7 percent more than the $1,595,000 asking price—was a three-bedroom, two-bath home with one-car parking located in the 1100 block of Dolores Street between 24th and 25th streets.
Noe Valley Home Sales*
Low Price ($)
High Price ($)
Average Price ($)
Average Days on Market
Sale Price as % of List Price
2- to 4-unit buildings
*‑ ‑Sales include all Noe Valley home sales completed during the month. Noe Valley in this survey is defined as the area bordered by Grand View, 22nd, Guerrero, and 30th streets. The Voice thanks Zephyr Real Estate (www.zephyrsf.com) for providing sales data. NVV 6/2013
Noe Valley Rents**
No. in Sample
$1,600 – $1,950
$1,748 / mo.
$1,659 / mo.
$1,433 / mo.
$1,495 – $4,500
$2,613 / mo.
$2,669 / mo.
$2,612 / mo.
$2,595 – $6,500
$3,975 / mo.
$3,765 / mo.
$3,977 / mo.
$4,950 – $6,750
$5,498 / mo.
$6,237 / mo.
$5,249 / mo.
$5,950 – $11,995
$7,889 / mo.
$8,236 / mo.
$7,332 / mo.
** ‑This survey is based on a sample of 65 Noe Valley apartment listings appearing on Craigslist.org from May 3 to May 13, 2013. NVV 6/2013