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Crumbling Palo Alto Shack Knocks Off $500K, Still One of City’s Most Expensive Listings

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This is getting out of hand

Do we need to stage some kind of intervention over Palo Alto’s home prices?

Even for those of us who live in San Francisco, where the average house now commands nearly $1.4 million, looking at the example of this crumbling shack at 1027 Waverley Place listing for $5 million makes you wonder what kind Alice Through the Looking Glass logic is being employed further south.

The 2,000 foot, four bed house dates to 1923. And boy does it look it. Only two interior photos exist, showing that this old place is quite literally falling to pieces. Though it looks as if it was once a handsome property, the sagging, faded façade now resembles a jack o’ lantern three weeks after Halloween.

The inevitable rejoinder to any insane Palo Alto home listing is a reminder of how incredibly precious land is in the Peninsula city, and this tumbledown tenement sits on 10,000 square feet. The ad itself (wisely) emphasizes the surrounding property over the actual house as well.

But this little place is asking $500 per square foot of land, more than 39 times the national average. A median priced California home sits on a lot worth a little over $400,000. Even in San Francisco, the dirt underneath any given house is probably worth less than $1.1 million. Palo Alto’s only active listing for actually undeveloped land (just over an acre) comes out to $344 a foot .

Last week, the price was half a million more, but on Friday they knocked it down. Perhaps coincidentally, this was mere hours after SFGate provided their own incredulous take on the listing. Even after the discount, this is Palo Alto’s 16th most expensive home on the market.