Homeowners on Lombard Street are sick of it. Sick of the crowds, sick of the noise, sick of (as one put it at a recent public meeting) "the invasion" that occurs day in and day out on the stretch of the street east of Hyde. No doubt about it, the inconvenience of a constant surge of tourists at your front step can get out of hand pretty fast. But honestly, what did these people expect?
Lombard Street residents knew when they moved in that both visitors and locals alike love the so-called crookedest street in the world. (Although the city's most crooked street is actually Potrero Hill's Vermont Street.) It's like building a house on the Golden Gate Bridge and then complaining about the traffic.
Though they may have a few valid complaints, it’s hard to have much sympathy. Especially when you consider what these homes are worth.
If any homeowner simply can’t bear the burden of living on one of the most famous streets in the world any longer, here’s some rather conservative estimates of how much they could sell for today and reinvest in a new home on any one of San Francisco’s other, quieter avenues.
1047-49 Lombard Street: $4.05 million
This duplex built in 1948 sold for a whopping $4 million-plus just in January. Of course, the presence of a duplex on the famously twisted strip does seem to raise a certain specter potentially unfavorable to those critical of Lombard resident’s attitudes: Renters can’t just sell and move out the way actual homeowners can.
This is a point with some substance, but Russian Hill has some of the highest rents in the city. While a few folks may be stuck there by circumstance, it’s hard to believe that the majority of renters couldn’t do just as well elsewhere for the same money.
1028 Lombard Street: $2.7 million
Half of an Edwardian duplex (circa 1915), the $2.7 million sale on this condo in 2009 was actually a bit of a letdown, since it asked $3 million initially. Think about it: The $300,000 difference between those two prices alone could buy an entire house in any number of American cities.
1055B Lombard: $2.3 million
In 2014, this three-bed, three-bath unit down the block pulled in $2.3 million, an appreciation of 45 percent over its previous sale in 2007 (which you may remember was rather a good year for real estate in the city in its own right).
1055A Lombard: $1.4 million
Meanwhile, apartment A in the same building hasn’t sold since 1996, but back then it brought in $920,000. Applying the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation formula that comes out to over $1.4 million today. And 1996 was the start of a huge boom in appreciation in San Francisco real estate which, despite various ups and downs, has seen incredible net gains ever since.
1067 Lombard, #1: $2.1 million
The 2014 sale of 1055B means that this two-bed, two-bath, 1,400-square-foot condo put on the market with a "first time in 25 years" didn’t quite earn the honors for top seller on the street that year. Still, it took in $300,000 over asking after less than a month on the market to beat the $2 million mark with change to spare. That’s $1,466 per square foot, mind you.
1025 Lombard Street: $925K-$1.2 million
Condos in this building have been pretty hot sellers, hitting a high of $1.2 million (2010) from a bottom rung of $824,000 in 2009. We can turn the latter figure up to $925,000 with inflation, but of course, 2009 was the midst of the Great Recession and a huge dump in San Francisco home values. No doubt that same condo could fetch a princely sum on the market today.
1063 Lombard Street: $1.3 million
Yet another condo in a pedigreed Edwardian-era building (1909 in this case). The two-bed, two-bath pad hasn’t been offered since 2002, when it brought in just over $1 million. With inflation, that’s $1.3 million today. But of course, home values has exploded since then. Like most of the figures, $1.3 million is probably a lowball. And that’s the point: A million plus as the worst case scenario is a pretty good prospect no matter how you tilt it.
- Lombard Residents Explode [Curbed SF]
- Map: Rents By Neighborhood [Curbed SF]
- 30 Years of SF Trends [Paragon]