I visited 200 Lakeside Drive #803 (listing & photos) on the first open home Sunday and I’m glad I did because it went into contract within days. While my focus to start is on San Francisco homes, I decided to make the trek across the bay because I’m curious what the top end of the Oakland market looks like and what the relative price levels are between Oakland and San Francisco. At 1,759 square feet and listed at $1,199,000 this is a great reference property because of its proximity to 19th Street Bart and Lake Merritt – it should appeal to buyers who both intrinsically like the neighborhood as well as those looking for relative value in the east bay but still needing to commute to San Francisco. And all that in an architecturally significant building!
My one complaint about this otherwise excellent condo is that the dining room and living room are divided by a hallway. It breaks the space up visually, making it feel smaller, and there’s a bit too much square footage on the dining room side. I’m going to give it a usable square footage score of 0.9, similar to 88 Garden Street.
I debated giving Oakland it’s own base $ / square foot average, separate from San Francisco. I also debated using one $ / square foot average for the whole Bay Area, accounting for all the region/neighborhood variation in the neighborhood score, and there are problems with both approaches. The former feels inelegant although it would work, and the latter 1) is an abuse of neighborhood scores, which should be a way to account for small variations within an otherwise homogenous region 2) is a nightmare to keep in sync because different regions can move relative to one other while maintaining their own internal consistency.
To explain that second point – I’ve already called San Francisco ~$1000 / square foot (hence the blog) and I’ve given a few San Francisco neighborhoods scores of 1.0, 1.15, and 1.3 relative to that. Were we to add Uptown Oakland and encode it’s current relative value in the neighborhood score as 0.7 that would work for right now. And you could imagine us analyzing a home in say Rockridge and assigning a neighborhood score of 0.8. Now imagine 6 months from now Oakland has appreciated relative to San Francisco but Rockridge and Uptown Oakland have stayed consistent relative to one another. We would need to reflect that relative movement either in every San Francisco neighborhood score, or in every Oakland neighborhood score.
So the third option, and what I’m going to go with is to capture the region relative to San Francisco in a region score. The entire Bay Area starts with a $1000 / square foot average and we add a region score to adjust to the relative level of the region in question. Then the neighborhood score can capture purely local dynamics, and orient around something that makes sense as a 1.0 neighborhood score in that region.
As noted above, I currently estimate Uptown Oakland at 0.7 relative to base San Francisco at 1.0. I think that decomposes into an Oakland region score of 0.65 and an Uptown neighborhood score of 1.1. That region score is based on the informal sales data I have seen so far and I’ll have to review it with more rigor down the road. Finally, I’m going to give this unit a $100,000 view premium – that’s about what I would pay for this unit on the 8th floor with the Lake Merritt view compared to the same unit on the second floor. That might seem like a small premium for the view based on the photo above and my appraisal of the 1198 Greenwich Street roof deck, but in person it wasn’t a jaw dropping feature and the rooms aren’t oriented such that you catch those great views all the time. Updating our calculation from earlier posts:
Estimated sale price = ($ / square foot) * region score * neighborhood score * square footage * usable square footage score + view premium Estimated sale price = ($1000 / square foot) 0.65 * 1.1 * 1759 square feet * 0.9 + $100,000 Estimated sale price = $1,132,000 + $100,000 Estimated sale price = $1,232,000
This implies that the same unit in a 1.1 neighborhood in San Francisco would sell for $1.84m, which feels about right or even a little difficult to achieve. So we’ll see what the final sale price says about the Oakland region score / Uptown neighborhood score.