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SURGE IN HIGH-END LUXURY CONDOMINIUM SALES PUSHES ONE RINCON HILL PHASE I TOWARD SELLOUT
Landmark tower is now 95 percent sold, with increased sales of $2+ million penthouse-level homes mimicking micro-market trends
Greater confidence in the economy, 2.0 tech boom, strong executive job growth and demand from trans-generational Asian buyers among reasons 2011 sales outperforming 2010, say experts
SAN FRANCISCO (April 20, 2011) – The high-end luxury condominium market, dormant in 2010, is coming back in a fury in 2011, with penthouse sales at One Rincon Hill leading the way, say local real estate experts.
“Luxury condos in the $2 million or more range are being snapped up in numbers not seen for the past several years,” said Paul Zeger, president of Pacific Marketing Associates, the sales and marketing firm for One Rincon Hill, and condominium experts in the Bay Area for more than 30 years. “San Francisco’s SoMa District is a hot micro-market, where techies want to work — and live.
“With ubiquitous brands Twitter and Zynga expanding their footprint in the City, and new start-ups popping up everywhere, their high-paid executives are flocking to SoMa where the action is,” he added.
One Rincon Hill, the 64-story luxury condominium building atop San Francisco’s Rincon Hill, is at the heart of that activity. Now about 95 percent sold, more than 650 people call the iconic tower home. In the year’s first three months, sales activity has focused near the top: five penthouses have been sold, each at more than $2.1 million, averaging more than $1,300 per square foot. Half of the top floor is now sold out, and only eight penthouses remain available.
“The resurgence in the high-end condo market is clearly demonstrated by penthouse level sales at One Rincon Hill and The Infinity,” said Patrick Barber, president of Pacific Union International, who cites penthouses that languished all last year, yet sold in 2011, including a few in the market for more than $5 million. Barber says renewed luxury demand is influenced by a combination of lower inventory and buyer confidence buoyed by greater job security and success of tech giants with large local footprints: Facebook, LinkedIn, Zynga and Salesforce.com. He also notes a new factor: the impact of The America’s Cup, where visitors, volunteers and the 10 teams, each with a staff of 80 themselves, will boost both rentals and sales near the waterfront.
“The America’s Cup is already a pull for new buyers at One Rincon Hill,” said Ann Dykstra, sales manager at One Rincon Hill. “Views grab a premium anyway; however, several new buyers were motivated by an opportunity for front row seats to the sailing pageantry in the bay.”
Dykstra says of the 376 homes in the tower, less than 25 remain — all above the 46th floor. This includes penthouse level homes with arguably the best views anywhere, and possibly the highest penthouse homes currently available in the world. Due to its location atop historic Rincon Hill, One Rincon Hill is the tallest residential tower on the West Coast (and tallest in North America outside of New York, Chicago and individual towers in Mexico City and Panama City).
Gregg Lynn, of Sotheby’s International Realty and among the Bay Area’s top producing realtors, cites four reasons 2011 is outperforming 2010: greater confidence in the economy, the “2.0” technology boom, strong executive job growth and continued demand from trans-generational Asian buyers.
“With the Dow above 1,200 and marching forward, overall consumer confidence with the economy has pushed buyers off the fence, with tech-execs leading the curve,” said Lynn. “Tech 2.0 is well ensconced in San Francisco, and those buyers are seeing luxury condos, mainly in SoMa. What’s more, many tech buyers are “long-term” confident, buying primary residences in the City, not just second homes.
Moreover, Lynn says executive job growth is the strongest in seven years, attracting substantial buyers from the East Coast and the Far East. The Asian market, primarily China, Taiwan and South Korea, is also bringing an influx of trans-generational buyers, sparked by less government restriction to overseas investment.
“These condos are often bought by Asian parents — who may or may not have current plans to reside in the property — and put in their children’s names,” added Lynn. “In many ways, San Francisco is catching up to a trend prevalent in Vancouver and Los Angeles, providing a surge of sales to our upper luxury condo market.”
One Rincon Hill was the most successful pre-sale in San Francisco’s history, as it was 90 percent reserved just two weeks after the sales center opened in 2006. Residents began moving in Feb. 2008. Available townhomes lining Harrison Street sold out in fall 2010. Currently, about two-dozen homes, all on upper floors, are available for sale and the building is on pace for a sold out and fully occupied tower in fall 2011.
About One Rincon Hill
One Rincon Hill has become one of San Francisco’s most recognizable landmarks and the tallest building on the skyline, in part due to its location atop Rincon Hill, the last buildable hill in the city and the first attraction visitors see as they cross the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. Topped with a glowing weather beacon at its crown, the 64-story Phase I tower with 376 luxury condominium homes was completed in late 2008 and is now almost 95 percent occupied. A 52-story Phase II tower offering 299 homes will complete the development, which will eventually feature a total of 689 private residences, including one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes and penthouses, each with views of the City and Bay from panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and extra-large balconies, as well as 14 townhomes, a swimming pool, reflecting pool, sundeck, fitness center and an elegant parking facility with valet parking. The One Rincon Hill Sales Center is located at 489 Harrison St. #306, with on-site parking available. Open weekdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call (415) 744-8886 or visit online at www.onerinconhill.com or www.facebook.com/onerinconhill