San Francisco is the top city for quality of life in the United States, according to Mercer. It has many of the advantages of a world-class city, while still having a relatively small population with just under 871,000 residents. Its proximity to booming Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area are just some qualities that make it a desirable location. Rents in San Francisco neighborhoods are some of the highest in the country, so despite the crunch in housing, buying a home may still be your best move. Just be prepared: These homes don’t come cheap and to be able to afford a home the San Francisco buyer needs an annual household income of about $180,000.
Average Sales Price: $706,850
Average Difference (Sales to List Price): -$3,489
Price per Square Foot: $594
This former industrial area in the southeast corner of San Francisco is the very definition of up-and-coming and was recently chosen as neighborhood of the year by Curbed. Because it’s more affordable, Bayview is quickly becoming a hub for artists. The new Minnesota Street Project is strengthening San Francisco’s contemporary art community by providing affordable space for artists and nonprofits and helping develop Bayview into an internationally recognized arts destination. Bayview is also home to a winery and several breweries, as well as a sake brewery and even a meadery, and it hosts a thriving pop-up marketplace.
The neighborhood’s proximity to the freeway makes it a prime location for anyone working in Silicon Valley or on the peninsula. The T Third Street Muni Metro light rail line runs from the Bayview to the Mission and the Embarcadero. When the Central Subway is complete in 2019, it will run all the way from Bayview north to SoMa and Chinatown.
Average Sales Price: $1,698,269
Average Difference (Sales to List Price): -$57,867
Price per Square Foot: $1,061
Nob Hill has traditionally been considered one of the most affluent San Francisco neighborhoods. With stunning views of the city and the San Francisco Bay, it’s also conveniently located within walking distance of downtown, Union Square, Polk Gulch and Chinatown. Both the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable-car lines pass through Nob Hill, as do plenty of buses. Home to high-end hotels, spas and exclusive clubs, the neighborhood is posh and relatively quiet. Local Redding Elementary School received praise from the San Francisco Chronicle as a “hidden gem” with a creative teaching staff, a computer lab and a strong visual and performing arts program. While not known for nightlife, the area is home to some iconic bars, including the Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar as well as Top of the Mark.
Average Sales Price: $2,222,127
Average Difference (Sales to List Price): $137,157
Price per Square Foot: $1,394
Tucked between the Castro and the Mission, Noe Valley has a particularly warm and sunny microclimate compared to the rest of the city. The population is just over 20,000, is home to many professionals and has a family-friendly suburb feel within a city. Like much of San Francisco, the architecture is primarily Victorian. The 24th Street and Church Street corridors provide ample shopping and dining with few chains. Dolores Park at the border of Noe Valley and the Mission offer sweeping views of the city and is one of the most popular hangout spots in San Francisco.
Average Sales Price: $2,188,884
Average Difference (Sales to List Price): $131,807
Price per Square Foot: $1,213
Located in the northern part of San Francisco, Pacific Heights is bordered by the lively shopping area of Cow Hollow, as well as the Marina and Presidio, which feature large green spaces and parks. Pacific Heights has both Victorian and modern homes, as well as some of the most extravagant mansions. It’s also home to many private schools, consulate homes and elegant parks. There are a number of bus lines running through the area, making it relatively quick and easy to get downtown or to the Civic Center. You’ll find high-end shopping boutiques on Union and Fillmore Street with plenty of dining options, ranging from casual spots to Michelin-starred destinations. The neighborhood has just under 20,000 residents, with a population density 30 percent higher than the rest of San Francisco, according to AreaVibes.
Average Sales Price: $942,198
Average Difference (Sales to List Price): $7,351
Price per Square Foot: $946
SoMa, short for “south of Market,” is a large neighborhood in San Francisco that includes South Beach, South Park, Mission Bay and Rincon Hill, and it serves as ground central for tech and startup companies. It’s also home to the convention center, ballpark, several of the city’s best museums, industrial warehouses, auto repair shops, nightclubs, residential hotels, condominiums, lofts, furniture showrooms and design center. The mix of old and new, industrial and residential, gives the neighborhood a modern feel. It’s also a prime location for Silicon Valley workers due to its proximity to the Caltrain station which runs all the way to San Jose. It also rates an A+ for both amenities and median home value, according to AreaVibes.
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