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The most expensive home sales in San Francisco in 2022 – SFGATE

2022 was a very different real estate year from 2021. Last year, San Francisco homes were selling in 16 days on average — and 72.9% of those homes sold above listing price. In 2022, that craziness ended, as factors such as rising interest rates and a downturn in the tech market returned power to the homebuyer in the second half of the year. 

The most expensive home sales in San Francisco in 2022 bear witness to this shift in power. Though they show deals in the tens of millions, these residential sales, recorded on the multiple listing service, don’t represent the feeding frenzy luxury real estate enjoyed in 2021. 

The three biggest winners in 2022 show what San Francisco real estate agent Alexander Clark, founder of theFrontSteps, calls a “general shake-up” in the SF metro. “What stands out is the shift in dynamics of the market beginning in June of this year,” he said. “That is when rates really started to climb, and buyers became increasingly more stubborn.”

Real estate broker Herman Chan with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty said the game has completely changed. Based on data from the end of the year, “sellers and listing agents no longer can play the ‘price it low, watch it go’ strategy. That only works when the market is hot and buyers are afflicted by [the fear of missing out]. Listings consequently have pivoted to the ‘transparent pricing’ strategy where the price tag is, give or take, what the seller would accept.” 

Of the top three on-market sales, only one experienced the indignity of a below-list offer. It seems the furious overbidding that characterized 2021 may have disappeared in 2022. 

1. 999 Green St., No. 3201 and No. 3202 

Two adjoining penthouse units at 999 Green St. sold for $29 million, making the sale San Francisco's most expensive this year.

Two adjoining penthouse units at 999 Green St. sold for $29 million, making the sale San Francisco’s most expensive this year.

Screenshot via Google Maps

The priciest sale of the year was not, for a change, a single-family mansion but was instead a pair of adjoining penthouse condos. These units in the Summit tower, coined as the “crown jewel” of the San Francisco skyline, were once combined for use as one home as the dwelling of former Secretary of State (and defrauded Theranos investor) George Shultz, who lived there with his wife Charlotte. 

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The property was listed as two penthouse units, a north penthouse (No. 3201) asking $17 million and a south penthouse (No. 3202) asking $12 million. Together, the units combine to offer more than 10,000 square feet of panoramic views in the sky. Someone bought them both for cash, presumably to live in them as one, in the style the Shultz family did. The $29 million transaction made news as the most expensive condo sale in San Francisco in 2022 and is indeed the most pricey on-market sale this year. 

It’s notable though that this sale does not represent an overbid transaction. The ask was a total of $29 million, and that’s precisely what was paid. 

2. 2006 Washington St., No. 2

Unit No. 2 at 2006 Washington St. in San Francisco was sold for $19 million.

Unit No. 2 at 2006 Washington St. in San Francisco was sold for $19 million.

Screenshot via Google Maps

The second highest-priced public sale in San Francisco this year wasn’t a quick one: 2006 Washington St., No. 2, is a co-op that listed for $30 million in January, got a major price cut down to $19 million in September and sold in November for that exact price. 

The home is a luxury four-bedroom unit, offering six terraces, 12-foot ceilings and two parking spaces, and it is situated in one of Pacific Heights’ most recognizable trophy buildings, a 1920s tower designed by Conrad Alfred Meussdorffer. 

This list price/sell price match is novel to this city, at least in terms of the last two years. In 2021, it wasn’t uncommon for as much as 73% of homes in a particular San Francisco neighborhood to be selling over asking. By year’s end, data showed that more than 70% of the homes that sold in 2021 sold above their list price in this city. 

3. 2950 Pacific Ave.

2950 Pacific Ave. in San Francisco sold below asking for but was still the city's third-highest sale in 2022.

2950 Pacific Ave. in San Francisco sold below asking for but was still the city’s third-highest sale in 2022.

Screenshot via Google Maps

This is the only on-market home that made the top sales list but was also sold below asking. The mansion has two addresses because it’s in the middle of a still-incomplete remodel — the front door was projected to move to 2895 Broadway. Inside the historical Gold Coast abode are eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. The plans for the remodel, a project designed by Snohetta (SFMOMA) and Troon Pacific (whose work is recognizable in LEED-certified new construction in the city’s most expensive neighborhoods), were part of the overall package for this deal. The buyer got an existing mansion of 12,000 square feet, with permits and approved architectural plans to allow expansion of up to 20,000 square feet.  

Originally priced at $29.5 million, it was later delisted and reemerged with a $20 million sale price a few months later. This listing eventually sold at $17 million. 

What’s coming in 2023?

With 2022 so very different from 2021 due to interest rate hikes and a tech downturn, experts expect 2023 to start in a similar fashion. “I suspect it will be more of the same as we come to a place of balance. I suspect sellers that were unrealistic might finally come to grips that the market shifted under their feet, they’ll adjust their prices (down) and buyers will pounce,” Clark said. 

But history shows San Francisco never stays down for long, and gauging when this balance might shift back to sellers might require a crystal ball. “Buyers are still hanging out trying to time the bottom, and then, as is almost always the case in SF, many of them are going to miss it,” Clark said.

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