An 'uninhabitable' shack in San Francisco that's missing a wall just sold for $2 million, and it showcases the real value of land in the Bay Area

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A shack in San Francisco that's on the market for nearly $2 million.

Google Maps

  • An uninhabitable 640-square-foot shack in San Francisco just sold for $2 million.

  • According to a report by NBC, the shack is unsafe to walk through and is missing a back wall.

  • However, the property comes with views of the city skyline and a pre-approved demolition permit.

  • The home was originally listed for $2.5 million in May but has received 2 price cuts since September. The most recent drop was in early December when the price fell from $2.25 million to $1.95 million.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

San Francisco is home to one of the most expensive housing markets in the US.

Still, even in a city with a median home value of $1,352,300, finding an uninhabitable shack — that's missing a back wall — on the market for nearly $2 million is something of a shock.

According to Zillow, the tiny, 640-square-foot shack was bought by its current owners in 2016 for about $1.5 million.

Located in Potrero Hill, a hilly San Francisco neighborhood with a median home value of $1,403,800, the shack made headlines back in May when it was listed for a jaw-dropping $2.5 million.

A May 2019 report by ABC stated that after just a week on the market, listing agent Anne Laury had given out 22 disclosure packets to potential buyers. The shack got 2 price cuts: In September, the price of the shack fell from $2.5 million to $2.25 million. In early December 2019, the price was again cut, this time by another $300,000, to $1.95 million.

In an interactive collection of photos on, NBC reporter Jonathan Bloom takes viewers inside the shack. It's in shambles. The photos show furniture and pieces of wood scattered throughout the home. What appears to be the kitchen opens directly up into the overgrown backyard by way of the shack's missing back wall.

Despite the fact that the shack is unsafe to walk through, the property's nearly $2 million price tag does come with two redeeming factors. One of those comes in the shape of the views it affords of the city skyline. Bloom showcases that view, which he writes is "the real value of the property."

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A view of the city skyline from the street in front of the shack.

Google Maps

The other draw is that the current owners already have a permit to demolish the home, a rare feat in the city. If it had historic value, such as being one of the city's earthquake shacks built as temporary housing units after the 1906 earthquake, it wouldn't have qualified for demolition.

According to the listing, the property is pre-approved for a 2-unit building, with 4 floors, 4 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, a 2-car garage, and a private elevator to each floor.

Laury told Business Insider in December 2019 that since the price cut, she has given out 7 disclosure packages.

The real draw to the property, Laury told Business Insider, is its location and appeal to first-time buyers who are looking for a chance to buy into San Francisco's housing market.

San Francisco's median home value is nearly six times more than the national median home value of $231,000

san francisco
san francisco

Katie Canales/Business Insider

For years, San Francisco's housing market has been outrageously expensive.

As Laura McCamy previously reported for Business Insider, you'll need to earn at least $172,000 a year to afford a home in San Francisco. Meanwhile, the median sales price of a 2-bedroom home in the city has increased by 329% since 2000.


Renters, too, are struggling to afford living costs.

san francisco hills walking
san francisco hills walking

George Rose/Getty Images

Business Insider previously reported that some renters are dishing out $1,200 a month for bunk beds in co-living buildings to save on rent. Underground sleeping pods are another proposed solution to the city's housing crunch. Even the city's highest-paid workers, tech workers, are spending over $2,000 a month to rent rooms in vacant Victorian homes.

The city's housing crisis is so dire that on October 22, Facebook pledged $1 billion to help fix it. In a blog post, the company said it will spread out an investment of $1 billion over the next decade to create around 200,000 housing units to help professionals such as teachers, nurses, and first responders live closer to the communities they work in.

Facebook isn't the only big tech company looking to ease the housing crisis. Back in June, The New York Times reported that Google pledged to invest $1 billion to build homes in the Bay Area. According to the report, the company believes the investment could help build at least 20,000 homes.

Read the original article on Business Insider