In The News

Nina Hatvany touches on earthquake risk factor in SF Gate Sound Off

Sound Off: Does earthquake risk factor into pricing, desirability?

A: Buyers in San Francisco definitely pay attention to earthquake risk when looking for a home. I do find that buyers avoid the Marina, in particular, entirely because they assume all properties there are in the area that is prone to liquefaction, and while much of the Marina is indeed on liquefaction and property values there reflect that fact, there are areas to the east closer to Russian Hill that are not that tend to get overlooked. In contrast, there are large parts of North Beach, the Mission, Embarcadero, and South Beach that are on liquefaction, a fact which buyers either are not aware of or don’t pay as much attention to, particularly if the construction is new — the buyers feel comfortable with the idea that the high rises have been built with liquefaction in mind. Home buyers, rather than condominium buyers, do pay particular attention to whether a property has been seismically upgraded; however, I note that they usually focus on fairly basic upgrades, such as anchor bolting, shear walls, and replacing brick foundations, rather than on more sophisticated upgrades such as moment frames, grade beams, and mat foundations.”

Nina Hatvany, Pacific Union Real Estate, (415) 345-3022, nina@ninahatvany.com.