High-End Housing “Booming”

CBS News’ Hank Plante went with Joel Goodrich (of TRI Coldwell Banker) on a showing of one of Joel’s beautiful Pacific Heights listings (located on Lyon Street) to get a sense of what’s going on out there.

“San Francisco realtor Joel Goodrich is showing his client a 5,000 square foot Pacific Heights stunner of a home listed at $8.55 million.The client, an interior decorator and philanthropist, has been looking for three months,” said Plante.

“It’s a strong market.Starting with the $2 – $5 million range, a lot of those homes are actually selling over asking,” according to Goodrich. “In fact, the average home sells over asking in the $2 – $5 million range.As you get over $5 million, if it’s a well-priced trophy property, it will sell immediately.”

Look at these recent sales.

2740 Green Street

This house on Green Street sold for about its asking price of $11 million.

2820 Pacific

This house on Pacific reportedly sold for $16 million.

3800 Washington

Here’s a mansion on Washington Street that sold along with its carriage house next door for what realtors say was $20 million.

2515 Scott Street

And finally, this property on Scott Street sold within 10 percent of its asking price, which was $19.75 million.

Hank: “Now all of this is fine at the high-end, but what about the rest of the market?Does a rising tide lift all boats?”

Ken Rosen runs UC Fisher Center for Real Estate.

Ken: “The core Bay Area is actually doing quite well at the moment, even though sales are down probably 30 or 40%.You don’t have as much volume activity.”

Hank: “But the core San Francisco, Berkeley, Marin.”

Ken: “Marin would be included in that. A little bit softer.There is possibly going to be a 5 to 10 percent correction there.But it depends on how serious the recession gets.”

Hank: “So who, exactly, is driving the boom at the top end?”

Joel: “It’s generally cash. And if they finance, it’s just generally for investment reasons.We’re getting, actually, a variety of buyers from the high tech young high-tech buyers, for example.A 26-year old bought the penthouse at the Infinity for $6.9 million.And interestingly enough we’re seeing most of our clients in this price range are 30-somethings.”

Thirty-somethings who are aiming for the sky, and can afford it.

Damion Matthews is the founder and editor of SFLUXE, and has also contributed to Town & Country, 7x7, Salon, Dutch and other national publications.