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Passive homes actively sell for $4 million plus

Final results are in for experiment in German efficiency

Multi-mililon dollar homes sell in Noe Valley every week, but the digs at 2123 and 2127 Castro Street were something of an experiment: They were some of the few so-called passive homes in San Francisco, built to experimental, German-based standards in which the home produces exactly as much energy as it consumes.

There are only a handful of such buildings in the city. The house at 2127 first came on the market back in May asking $5 million, but had to take several price cuts totaling three-quarters of a million dollars before finally selling last week.

But its sibling next door at 2123 Castro sold a few days ago for precisely the asking price of $4,399,000, after barely a month on the market. And San Francisco’s original passive house, the so-called “Equilibrium House” on 19th Street, sold for $4 million back in 2013 after a couple of weeks.

(Another house near Buena Vista Park is only “near net zero,” so we can’t quite count it in the mix.)

Technically, that makes San Francisco’s combined passive house balance sheet a net $550,000 under asking...but that’s actually a pretty reasonable margin of error, and the city’s passive homes together average over $4.2 million, which isn't too shabby.

But of course, these are pretty nice homes already. So what do you think: Is the electrical harmony as profound of a selling point as some people hope, or is this just a case of homes in Noe Valley and the Castro doing what they always do?

San Francisco’s first multi-unit passive building in the Mission, Sol-Lux Alpha, was originally set to begin sales this month, but they tell us they’ve had some construction delays and are aiming for a spring opening instead.