Famous for its eclectic architecture, artsy vibe, rolling hills and steep streets, San Francisco has also become synonymous with pricey real estate in recent years.
To see exactly what ‘pricey’ means here, we looked at home sales across the city to find the neighborhoods that registered the highest median prices for sales completed in 2014.
Not surprisingly, location and view come with hefty price tags. Most of the priciest neighborhoods are located along the coast of the San Francisco peninsula or in the heart of the city.
Without further ado, here are San Francisco’s most expensive neighborhoods of 2014.
#10. Balboa Terrace
Median sale price: $1,637,500
Median price/square foot: $807
Although it only comes in at #10, the median sale price in Balboa Terrace increased 20% in 2014 compared to 2013. One of the oldest subdivisions in the Mount Davidson area, this upscale residential community features a beautiful mix of single-family homes, pedestrian-friendly walkways and elegantly landscaped boulevards. Home styles vary a great deal, from Spanish Mediterranean to Italian Renaissance Revival and Victorian architecture, each adding charm to this picturesque District 4 neighborhood.
#9. Lake Street
Median sale price: $1,746,000
Median price/square foot: $876
Lake Street, located in San Francisco’s District 1, comes in at number 9 in our list. Registering a slightly bigger median sale price in 2014 as compared to 2013 and also a 25% increase in the median price/sq ft, this neighborhood offers its dwellers many advantages: convenient access to shopping and dining destinations, biking and hiking trails, good schools, and a true neighborhood feel. Also, golfers and beachgoers feel right at home here thanks to the Presidio Golf Course conveniently located close to most residences and Baker Beach.
#8. Monterey Heights
Median sale price: $1,900,000
Median price/square foot: $776
Also on an upward trend, at number 8 we find Monterey Heights. Situated on the western slope of Mount Davidson, this SF neighborhood boasts stately homes with large yards and an active neighborhood association that even includes a “welcome committee” for new residents. Being primarily considered a residential neighborhood, Monterey Heights has few retail or commercial outlets, characteristics that give it a quiet, charming, slightly suburban feel.
#7. Forest Hill
Median sale price: $1,901,000
Median price/square foot: $834
In the same price range, at number 7 in our list you will find one of the friendliest and most serene San Franciscan neighborhoods, Forest Hill. This neighborhood is known for its impressive single-family homes and shaded streets, as well as its small town, rustic atmosphere that the residents take great pride in. With its feeling of remoteness and tranquility and its easy access to the restaurants, shops and pubs of the lively West Portal neighborhood, Forest Hill seems to be the perfect solution for someone trying to have it all.
Median sale price: $1,920,000
Median price/square foot: $1,116
Although not the most expensive, Marina is definitely the most popular neighborhood: with the biggest number of sales both in 2013 and 2014 (134 and 110 respectively), Marina is the home of the Palace of Fine Arts and it offers a great view of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. But the true real estate hallmark of the area is represented by the barrel front houses and the art deco style buildings. Here, the single-family homes, apartment buildings and flats offer a wide range of housing options for home seekers and investors.
#5. Saint Francis Wood
Median sale price: $1,985,000
Median price/square foot: $852
In the middle of our top 10 we find Saint Francis Wood, the last neighborhood with a median sale price under $2M. One of San Francisco’s most affluent neighborhoods, Saint Francis Wood houses are still extremely well appreciated for their views, classical designs, and spacious surroundings. Proof of the area’s dedication to beauty and harmony is the little known fact that, when it opened to home buyers, this neighborhood boasted the highest concentration of residences designed by prominent architects of the era in all of San Francisco.
#4: Cow Hollow
Median sale price: $2,100,000
Median price/square foot: $1,161
With Cow Hollow, our list crosses the $2 million median sale price threshold, and the price’s 62% increase is quite an achievement for this charming part of San Francisco. This means that, despite not being the most expensive neighborhood, Cow Hollow was definitely the most sought-after in 2014. Nestled between the prosperous Pacific Heights and the trendy Marina, Cow Hollow offers a nice blend of mixed-use buildings and single-family residences, gorgeous specimens of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, as well as Art Deco era apartment buildings. Moreover, many residents believe that, despite its rather unglamorous name, Cow Hollow is one of the most livable neighborhoods, with friendly people and great entertainment opportunities.
#3 Presidio Heights
Median sale price: $2,337,500
Median price/square foot: $1,092
#3 on the list is the only neighborhood that registered a decrease in its median sale price in 2014 as compared to 2013. But even with a 9% drop, Presidio Heights still has a median sale price only slightly under $2.4 million. In this neighborhood, luxury doesn’t take a back seat to family friendliness: all the homes here are beautiful and well-maintained. The large single-family homes, the multi-unit buildings and the condos on offer explain why so many residents are drawn to this part of the city. Another reason for the neighborhood’s popularity is its proximity to the Presidio of San Francisco, which offers nearly 3 square miles of greenery for recreation and exploration.
#2. Clarendon Heights
Median sale price: $2,450,000
Median price/square foot: $1,000
Boasting one of the most steady real estate markets, Clarendon Heights managed to maintain both its number of sales and its median sale price almost unchanged from 2013. With its incredible views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, this neighborhood also offers a lovely perspective towards San Francisco’s most famous hills, which are perfect for short walks, jogging, or smooth hikes. Primarily a residential community, Clarendon Heights’ Tudors and villas blend comfortably with the neighborhood’s more modern, sleeker homes, giving the area an eclectic feel.
#1. Sea Cliff
Median sale price: $4,725,500
Median price/square foot: $1,206
By far the most expensive neighborhood in San Francisco, Sea Cliff has long been a favorite destination for affluent buyers in search of exclusive amenities and gorgeous ocean views. The median sale price in 2014 was $4,725,000, up 50% from 2013, which speaks volumes about the area’s current status and also its potential for the future. The quiet, private air of the neighborhood perfectly suits its wealthy residents, among whom we can mention Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, actress Sharon Stone, and Gap founder Don Fisher. The neighborhood displays outstanding single-family homes, lovely views of the Pacific and Golden Gate Bridge, great beaches, and long cycle lanes for avid bikers.
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