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Scarcity fuels San Francisco condo craze

Apr 14, 2014, 2:34pm PDT UPDATED: Apr 15, 2014, 11:33am PDT


Dean Givas expects Vida will sell out before the building is complete in December

The handful of developers currently selling condo units in San Francisco might seem like the luckiest guys in the city. Units are moving fast with projects selling out within months, and pricing has hit pre-recession levels at more than $1,000 per square foot.

At Vida, a 114-unit project at 2558 Mission St., a pre-sales event resulted in the first 26 units or about 20 percent of the building going under contract. The firm behind the project, Oyster Development, recently sold out in less than a year at Marlow, a 98-unit project at 1788 Clay St. that began selling units in April 2013. Marlow was officially ready for move-in last February.

“We expected to be about 50 percent sold by the time the building was complete — so we did much better,” said Dean Givas, head of Oyster Development. “The market definitely feels hotter right now — in the Mission in particular.”

Condos are selling for an average of $1,030 per square foot in San Francisco — a 13 percent increase compared with the prior year, according to the Mark Co., a condo marketing and research firm.

With some of the units in Vida already taken, there were about 116 new condos on the market in San Francisco as of March, according to Polaris Pacific, another condo marketing and research firm. Other projects still selling units include Linea, a 115-unit project at the intersection of Market and Buchanan streets from developer Brian Spiers, and the Century, a 22-unit project at 15th and Market streets from Siavash Tahbazof.

Later this year, two more projects will add inventory, such as Bosa Development’s Arden, a 267-unit building in Mission Bay, and Tishman Speyer’s Lumina, a 665-unit luxury high-rise at 201 Folsom St. in Rincon Hill.

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