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Incredibly expensive Lumina penthouses slash prices yet again

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Two very upscale condos were once one

Photo by Steelblue, courtesy of Lumina, Julia Krainin of Polaris Pacific

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.