The least expensive S.F. neighborhoods to buy a single-family home

Looking for the least expensive S.F. neighborhoods? The median sale price for houses in San Francisco is up to $1.1 million, according to a recent report from Paragon Real Estate. But the report also shows that, much like the city’s famous microclimates, San Francisco is actually made up of dozens of micromarkets, where the difference of a few blocks can mean the difference of millions of dollars in the median sales prices.

In Pacific Heights, for example, the median home price was about $4.1 million, versus just under $2 million a few blocks south in Lower Pacific Heights. Neighboring Presidio Heights, on the other hand, had the highest median house price in the city with $6.125 million. Paragon looked at sales between August 16, 2014, and February 15, 2015, to have a large enough sample set to determine these median figures, but the report cautions that some neighborhoods still had very few sales during this period, “which may produce anomalous results.”

While sales like those in the above neighborhoods brought the median up, there were also many neighborhoods where median single-family home sales were far below the citywide median. For the most part, these homes were located in the city’s southeastern quadrant, where neighborhoods like Mission Terrace (940K), Sunnyside (860K), Excelsior (709K), Outer Mission (782K) and Portola (751K) were purchased for well below the citywide median.

Oceanview, Bayview and Visitacion Valley were the city’s least expensive neighborhoods, with median sales in the mid-600K range. The slideshow above shows a recent two-bedroom, two-bath flip in Oceanview. The 735-square-foot cottage with three decks and fantastic views recently received a revamp with new flooring, a new kitchen, and new paint inside and out. It sold for 649K in January after listing for 669K in November 2014. (Pre-flip, it sold for 585K.)

On the west side of town, there were also some bargains. Outer Richmond is still just below the median with a $1.05 million median, while Outer Sunset (850K), Outer Parkside (835K) and Parkside (950K) were still well below the citywide figure.

There are actually very few neighborhoods where the median home price matched the citywide median of $1.1 million, but a few came close. Miraloma Park was just over with median of $1.137 million. Inner Parkside had a median of $1.150 million, just above the citywide number. (The photo gallery below shows a recent Inner Parkside sale that comes very close to both the neighborhood and citywide median.)

The above medians are all for single-family home sales, but Paragon did break down condo sales as well. In some neighborhoods, like Yerba Buena and South Beach, median condo prices nearly matched the citywide single-family median. And in neighborhoods like Russian Hill, where the condo median was $1.5 million, and Noe and Eureka Valleys ($1.3 million), the condo median went well above the citywide median for single-family homes.

Paragon notes, “The sale of new-construction condos in 2014 and early 2015 significantly increased median and average values in certain neighborhoods such as Potrero Hill, Duboce Triangle, Hayes Valley and Mission Dolores.” But, even with the new inventory, the median sales for condos in all of those neighborhoods—except one—are all below $1.1 million. At $1.225 million, Hayes Valley condos beat the citywide median, and as more and more new construction units come online, we may see more of this trend.

Emily Landes is a writer and editor who is obsessed with all things real estate.