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SF’s top 3 overbids all happened in one ZIP code

It wasn’t unusual last year for a house to sell for nearly double asking in one neighborhood

Anna Marie Erwert | SFGATE.COM

2021 was a year of bitter bidding wars in the U.S., and the competition was even more intense in San Francisco, where a stunning 72.9% of homes sold above listing price. The top three overbid properties of last year all share two surprising thing in common: Each of these sales almost doubled the original asking price of the listing, and they are all in the same neighborhood. 

Why was overbidding so common in 2021? Herman Chan, broker and agent with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty told SFGATE that “the start of 2021 sent the San Francisco single-family home market into utter overdrive. New year. New president. New vaccine. Everyone who waited on sidelines during 2020 dove back in. Buyers [whose priorities had been changed by the pandemic] are still clamoring for property with more size for the work-from-home life (home office/home gyms) and outdoor space.”

Where can a buyer get that space in San Francisco? One option: the Sunset District. The three highest overbids this year all happened in one ZIP code: 94116, San Francisco’s Sunset District. If you’ve lived in the city long enough, you may recall the Sunset was once a sleepier neighborhood than closer-to-the-city-center property when it came to real estate. It had a suburban vibe, and prices weren’t as high, nor was demand.

Graph showing price increase
The popularity and prices in the Sunset have experienced a sharp increase in recent years. Data via Compass. SFARMLS

Over the past few years though, that’s changed, and by 2021, buyers wanted the 94116 — badly.

Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst at Compass, said that “the Sunset has consistently been the hottest market in the city in recent years, with the highest overall overbidding percentages. Even though prices have soared, the houses typically range about the median sales price for the city — which makes it relatively affordable, while being in a solid, suburban-ish neighborhood, with active neighborhood commercial districts, parks on two sides and the ocean on the other. During the high-tech boom, it has been very popular with younger families, many of whom worked not only the San Francisco high-tech sector, but down in the Peninsula.”

Redfin reported that the Sunset market is “very competitive” with data showing:

-Many homes get multiple offers, some with waived contingencies
-The average home sells for about 22% above list price and goes pending in about 14 days
-Hot homes can sell for about 37% above list price and go pending in about 12 days

The top three overbids in San Francisco in 2021 all came from the Sunset, and these sales doubled — and even nearly tripled — the average over-asking you see above. 

Click here to read the report via redfin.com.

1. 3228 Santiago St.

Front exterior view of 3228 Santiago, featuring a home with a large front window
3228 Santiago sold for 81.8% over asking. Charles Russo, Charles Russo/SFGAT

In early April of 2021, 3228 Santiago St. in San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood listed at $799,000. This 1,000-square-foot home is an easy walk to the beach. The three-bedroom, one-bathroom abode was sold in less than three weeks, at $1,452,500. That price is 81.8% over asking. 

2. 2543 16th Ave. 

Front exterior view of 2543 16th Ave, featuring a home with blue facade
2543 16th Ave. sold for almost 75% over asking. Charles Russo, Charles Russo/SFGATE

The second highest over-asking home is at 2543 16th Ave., which listed in mid-April of 2021. At that time, the asking price for this 1,650-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom home was $1,095,000. In June, it closed at $1.910 million. That’s 74% over asking. 

3. 2370 28th Ave.

Front exterior view of 2370 258th Ave, featuring a home with large arched windows
2370 28th Ave. sold for 73.4% over asking.Charles Russo, Charles Russo/SFGATE

In third place is 2370 28th Ave., a 1925 Spanish-style abode offering two beds and one bath and 1,175 square feet. The home listed in mid-April (which means that each of these homes has not just two but actually three things in common: their high over-asking price, their ZIP code and the month they listed). The original asking price was $995,000. Two weeks later, the home sold for $1.725 million, which is 73.4% over asking. 

“While the ferocious level of demand tempered since summer, the low inventory and threat of rising rates has kept the market very robust,” Chan said. “Reading my real estate tea leaves, I forecast this trend to continue into 2022.”