How’s the Market In: Bernal Heights

I have many clients who live in Bernal, and am often asked how the market is doing in the neighborhood. The Bernal real estate market is usually pretty healthy; buyers like the favorable weather, as well as the close proximity to the Cortland retail strip and freeways. First-time home buyers typically target Bernal because the homes are generally smaller and thus more affordable in comparison to other nearby areas like Noe Valley.

Bernal Heights is divided into a few key areas—the north slope, which is arguably the most desirable; west slope, which is closer to Mission but is also very desirable; the east slope, which is a little more remote and can come a little too close to Bayshore and Hwy 101; and the south slope, which features the appealing Holly Park area (but can get a bit less desirable the closer you get to Hwy 280). Architecture runs the gamut, and includes Victorians, Edwardians, and boxy 1940s offerings.

Many homes change hands in a given year in Bernal, so inventory is not usually a problem. To date, 96 single-family homes have sold at an average price of $753,805, with a 1,370 average square footage. Thirteen of those homes sold for more than a $1M, but this price range is usually in the minority. Your dollars at the higher end in Bernal will get you more house than in nearby Glen Park or Noe Valley.

There are currently more than 40 single-family homes and eight condos on the market in Bernal. Though condo sales aren’t as common in Bernal, they do happen. Condos usually don’t rise above the $700,000 price point; however, Bernal isn’t where most buyers go to purchase condos. (More likely neighborhoods for condos would be the Mission or Noe.) Notable homes currently available include 91 Winfield, a 2BR/1BA with a bonus room, listed at $629,000, as well as a very nice Edwardian listed at $949,500 at 212 Banks that has 3BR/3BA and 2,385 square feet.

I think Bernal is the type of neighborhood that will continue to perform pretty well throughout this economic downturn; its average sales prices are smack dab in the middle of the range where most homes are selling in San Francisco. Add to that the fact that you can own a house for what a condo would cost you in more pricey neighborhoods, and it’s no surprise that many homes on the west/north slopes sell with multiple offers.