San Francisco Condo Market Breaks Records in 2007

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With prices sky high and demand refusing to soften, 2007 has beat all sales records in the "super luxury" condo market. Price and number of sales for condos priced above $2 million have reached levels never before seen in the city by the bay, according to San Francisco Realtor Damion Matthews.

Real estate analysts don't call San Francisco a "superstar city" for nothing. With prices sky high and demand refusing to soften, 2007 has beat all sales records in the "super luxury" condo market.

According to San Francisco Realtor Damion Matthews, at liveinsf.com, both the price and number of sales for condos priced above $2 million have reached levels never before seen in the city by the bay, and chances are they'll just go higher.

"The average price per square foot hit $1,200 for the first time this year, and the number of days to market has fallen to 45," says Matthews.

It took an average of 54 days to sell a luxury condominium just a year ago, his research shows.

"Surprisingly, sales have increased dramatically since September, despite turmoil in the stock market and a national mortgage crisis. We've almost doubled our sales in the high-end market over last quarter," Matthews says, noting that the year's highest prices were reached in November, with two condos selling at an estimated $7 million and $10 million each.

So what are buyers getting for the money? Views are at the top of the list.

"The highest prices have gotten the best views. Secondly, convenience and service. Buildings with white glove service, like the Four Seasons, St. Regis or the new Ritz-Carlton are very hot right now. I mean, who wouldn't want a butler and 24-hour room service?" he says.

Looking ahead to 2008, Matthews sees even greater demand for properties at the higher end of the market as people become more focussed on protecting their investment with a really flawless property.

"They want the very best, and there's a sense that it's better to pay more for the best and be happy than it is to pay less for something that's just mediocre and worry you made the wrong choice," he says.

"When you wake up in a Russian Hill penthouse with views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge, you know you made the right decision."

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SALES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO LUXURY CONDO MARKET
(Condos, Lofts and Co-Ops priced $2 million and above.)

2003
Average price per square foot: $948
Q1 - 5
Q2 - 2
Q3 - 7
Q4 - 10
Total: 24

2004
Average price per square foot: $977
Q1 - 11
Q2 - 17
Q3 - 11
Q4 - 8
Total: 47

2005
Average price per square foot: $1,026
Q1 - 16
Q2 - 15
Q3 - 33
Q4 - 13
Total: 77

2006
Average price per square foot: $1,149
Q1 - 13
Q2 - 18
Q3 - 7
Q4 - 10
Total: 48

2007
Average price per square foot: $1,209
Q1 - 9
Q2 - 26
Q3 - 15
Q4 - 28 (as of December 3)
Total: 78

Figures above are drawn from MLS, and developer's records when available.

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Damion Matthews

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