town homes, 20 million, San Francisco, downturn, crime, luxury home, house, Russian hill

San Francisco Luxury Home Sold For $20M In 2020 Sells For $9.9M In November 2023

A luxury home located in the upscale Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco sold for almost half of its initial $18 million asking price.

According to Daily Mail, a luxurious row house located in the upscale Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco sold for nearly half of its initial $18 million asking price in November 2023. The sale reflects the dwindling value of San Francisco real estate market as the city grapples with rising crime, open-air drug use, and homelessness.

Tech CEO Leslie Stretch acquired the property in 2020 for $20 million. However, after facing challenges in finding a buyer for the expansive four-bedroom, eight-bathroom home at 2626 Larkin St., Stretch decided to make a significant price cut.

Despite initially listing the home for $18 million in May 2020, according to the New York Post, Stretch struggled to attract buyers, leading to gradual reductions in the asking price. The property, complete with a helix staircase, media room, wine cellar, elevator, guest apartment, and rooftop terrace, eventually sold for $9.9 million in early November.

The real estate downturn in San Francisco, particularly in Russian Hill, aligns with broader issues the city faces. According to data from the city’s police department, Russian Hill experienced 839 incidents, ranging from robberies to drug offenses, in 2023 alone.

A surge in crime has contributed to a challenging environment, with one in eight home sellers in San Francisco reportedly taking losses on their properties. The average loss: around $100,000

The broader impact is visible in numerous stores in downtown San Francisco closing since 2020, driven by rising crime rates and homelessness. The once-vibrant Westfield mall witnessed the closure of 45 out of 97 retailers and 16 of 36 food vendors in just over three years. The subsequent closure of anchor tenant Nordstrom, which left due to “unsafe conditions” and “lack of enforcement against rampant criminal activity”— further signaled the mall’s demise.

Major retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, and Microsoft also abandoned the struggling mall. Beyond the mall, Whole Foods, Old Navy, Gap, and Office Depot closed, contributing to a 47 percent drop in operating retailers in San Francisco’s Union Square area since 2019.

The city’s technology sector, once a hallmark, is also experiencing an exodus, with companies like Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Airbnb downsizing their office spaces or leaving altogether.

San Francisco’s challenges extend beyond its real estate and retail sectors. Homelessness, with nearly 8,000 people counted in 2022, and a 41 percent surge in drug-related deaths in the first quarter of 2023, have created a complex environment for residents and businesses alike.

RELATED CONTENT: Brooklyn Heights’ First Black-Owned Food Business, Cloudy Donut, Celebrates A Year In Operation