Now that the calendar has turned over to 2013, the San Francisco real estate market is ready to heat up. With the burgeoning population of the Bay Area and the driving force of tech startups, San Francisco is the place to be. As a result, housing prices are skyrocketing, and supply is ever-dwindling. The Mission, the Castro, and Dogpatch are and will continue to be the hottest neighborhoods in San Francisco this year.
The Mission District
The Mission is a constantly changing area that has seen an influx of young urbanites in the past decade. Still a haven for Latino culture in San Francisco, the housing market has been off-the-charts hot over the past few years. 2013 appears to be the same for the Mission, as listings are down 29 percent, while prices rose 80 percent over the past year. Many residents swear by the variety of trendy eateries and always expanding number of unique bars to visit.
Alex Hastings, a Mission resident and East Coast transplant, couldn't imagine living elsewhere. "It really is the place to be; there's no other more unique mishmash of people, sights, and sounds. It's really a fantastic living environment," said Hastings.
A quick view of the MLS shows a mere five properties available in the neighborhood, with a median price of around $750,000 for a two-bed, two-bath condo.
Just to the west of the Mission is the Castro. The heart of the gay rights movement is now one of the hardest buys in the city of San Francisco. The real estate market is incredibly shallow right now, with only four properties within the neighborhood proper. There are a dearth of condos for sale and mostly single-family residences currently available. Prices range from $995,000 for a three-bed, two-bath condo to nearly $2 million for a three-bed, four-bath single-family home.
Those who already reside in the Castro aren't likely leaving soon. Kevin Chan moved to an apartment in the Castro in December, and despite the cramped living, he said, "I don't see myself leaving the Castro ever. There's always something interesting going on, and my commute is a breeze."
Despite its beginnings as a working-class neighborhood, the half-residential, half-industrial neighborhood on the east side of San Francisco has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Dogpatch is fast becoming a neighborhood on the rise. The tech sector is quickly moving to the area and a necessity for modern housing along with it. Just south of AT&T Park, the future expansion of the baseball neighborhood will make its way to Dogpatch shortly. Numbers of new markets and restaurants are opening daily, and as a result, the real estate market in the area is nearly nonexistent. The MLS shows no listings currently for Dogpatch, and a look at recent sales reveals several condos smaller than 1,000 square feet selling for a minimum of $700,000. Though pricey to break into, property values are bound to continue increasing into the foreseeable future.
Jared Feldman is a licensed real estate broker in the state of California.