Many of our formerly less popular neighborhoods have enjoyed a renaissance over the past year, the Mission, mid-Market, and Bernal Heights all among them. But it is Bernal that has gained national attention and earned the title of “hottest neighborhood in 2014.”
Redfin, a nation-wide online real estate brokerage, has compiled the hottest ‘hoods based on several factors: which areas are the most searched? In which are listings most often saved to personal favorite lists? And which, according to local Redfin agents, are the ‘nabes most buzzing, and why?
The winners are below:
What do people want?
Quality schools and walkable parks have always been popular. But now more than ever, a short commute to both work and other daily-life essentials has become a major factor in the desirability of a location for buying a home. According to Redfin’s data, “The trending neighborhoods offer a short drive to or easy access to a commuter rail line at prices that are not the most expensive in the city.”
Prices as motivator
It should make sense to anyone that people hoping to buy in S.F. might begin searching those neighborhoods often overlooked. These pockets in the city may offer the last affordable places to buy, relatively speaking. Nationally, home prices shot up 13% in 2013. In San Francisco, that was a 24.6% hike. So Bernal Heights, looked over in favor of places like Noe or the Marina in the past, has now become a hot neighborhood among buyers– and is predicted to be the hottest in 2014.
The condo above, one of only 3 condos currently for sale in the area, is an example. Given the surge in desire for the location and the low inventory to meet that desire, we predict the price (fairly low by S.F. standards) could create some bidding wars. The single-family home, also in the gallery above, is one of just 9 listed now. Again, the low(er than median) asking and scary low inventory could affect its final sale price.
The median sales price for homes in Bernal Heights from Oct. 13 of 2013 through Jan 14. of the new year was $1,050,000 based on 43 sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median sales price increased 38.2%, or $290,000, and the number of sales increased 19.4%. Average price per square foot for Bernal Heights was $924, an increase of 40.4% compared to the same period last year. Big numbers, but consider the median price for the Castro in the same period is $1,265,000; Cow Hollow is $1,300,000. By those (yes, very high) figures, Bernal is still “a bargain.”
…For now, anyway.
Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert