Is luxury relative? Surely the soaring asking price for the penthouse 41A at Lumina—more than $9.99 million—has to be considered the acme of excess, being among San Francisco’s most expensive homes for sale.
And yet, that price represents a significant stumble for the unit, which this time last year asked more than $11.4 million.
Note that this unit is a “shell,” meaning that the interior hasn’t really been built yet; it sports 5,700 square feet, 18-foot ceilings, and killer views—and little else. The idea is that a deep-pocketed buyer will fill in the blanks once a purchase happens, which will happen at a comparatively more affordable price point.
While prices sometimes fall, this price cut is deceptively larger than it seems.
Once upon a time, the city marveled at the grandeur and audacity of Lumina’s most expensive home, a penthouse that sprawled over two stories asking the borderline plutonic price of $49 million in 2015. Even before it was built, headlines called Lumina the priciest building in San Francisco.
But as SFGate points out, this now $9.99 million penthouse is essentially the same one that dropped jaws back then. No, the unit hasn’t cut $40 million off its price in five years. Instead, the sellers divided it into two homes—which on some level must have felt a bit like smashing a Han Dynasty vase, since this was meant to have been the most expensive condo sale in the history of the city and such a split meant dropping that dream. But evidently it made good business sense.
The result, however, was not one but two high-end East Cut condos that haven’t sold yet. Last year’s $11.4 million listing for penthouse 41A was itself a price drop from previous years, and now it’s down again, as is neighboring 41B, which nows asks $7.49 million.
If both penthouses sell at the current asking, the combined price of roughly $17.5 million would represents a decline of more than 64 percent from the original ambitions.
Of course, that’s still a mind-boggling sum of money, so it seems depreciation is all relative too. But this price pruning could spell trouble for two noted penthouses wanting absurd amounts of dough: the grand penthouse at 181 Fremont, asking $46 million, and the upcoming penthouse at the Four Seasons tower, seeking $49 million.