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San Francisco’s greatest 2022 house gross sales have been off market

In 2021, on-the-market luxury properties were in high demand in San Francisco. In 2022, the trend flip-flopped: buyers were no longer pinning for on-the-market, high-end homes, which rarely fetched over-asking bids. This year has instead seen record-breaking prices for off-market luxury properties in San Francisco.

As best as we can decipher, the top three off-market home sales each represent transactions of approximately $30 million. In contrast, the three on-market giants were $17 million, $19 million and $29 million. Interestingly, most of the aforementioned homes — sold on and off market — are similarly proportioned, with similar architectural pedigree. (The outlier property is the all-cash $29 million sale of two penthouse condos in the Summit Tower.)

Deborah Svoboda of Sotheby’s International represents high-end sellers and buyers in San Francisco. She believes 2022 “proved to be a challenging year in San Francisco real estate due to the consecutive interest rate hikes, stock market volatility and tech layoffs.” But, she added, “the luxury market held steady, as evidenced by the three top annual sales between $29.5 and $34.5 million, all of which occurred off market.”

Why go off market? Alex Clark, broker and founder of the FrontSteps real estate firm, handles pocket listings regularly. There are many reasons sellers and their agents choose off-market sales, he told SFGATE.

“To put a pin on one main reason is not easy,” he said. “For some, it’s privacy, getting only approved and verified buyers through the door. For others, it’s a way to test the waters on price and interest, and for many, it’s because they don’t want to go through the pressure and stress of properly preparing a home for sale. Ideally, that means often being just shy of a small remodel… moving out, fixing bathrooms, floors, kitchens, lighting, yard, or at the very least, painting and staging. It can be a lot.”

Below are what appear to be San Francisco’s three biggest off-market residential sales of 2022.

2790 Broadway

In late summer of this year, 2790 Broadway sold off market at $34.5 million. Reportedly, the 12,000-square-foot Pacific Heights mansion was purchased by an LLC with ties to the ultra-wealthy Glazer family. Malcolm Glazer, founder of the First Allied Corporation holdings company, died a billionaire in 2014. His heirs now own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the wildly popular English soccer team Manchester United. And now, it seems, the Glazers own a 1927 Beaux Arts beauty designed by Arthur Brown Jr., the architect who created San Francisco’s City Hall and Opera House, the California School of Fine Arts and even worked on Coit Tower.

Previously, this 14-room mansion was the home of art collectors Norah and Norman Stone, who filled some of its enormous halls with prominent works of modern art.

3450 21st St

In July, Mark Zuckerberg sold this Liberty Hill mansion for $31 million, attempting to do so quietly, off market. The quiet part didn’t actually happen, because Zuckerberg’s sale was, up to that point, the most expensive San Francisco home deal of 2022. It quickly became a news story, and not for the first time.

Zuckerberg originally purchased this 1928 home in November 2012 for $10 million, meaning he made a pretty penny here. The Real Deal reported that “the [new] buyer for the Zuckerberg property is 3450 21st Street LLC,” which, incidentally, is also the address of the property. In other words: We have no idea who bought this place. (It’s blocked on Google Street View too!)

The home previously made news in 2016, when Zuckerberg’s then neighbors complained about the security team he’d hired to oversee a renovation. That renovation appeared to be substantial, expanding the property’s existing 7,400 square feet by adding space on three floors, adding a bathroom, remodeling the remaining bathrooms and kitchen, as well as tacking on a roof deck.

3355 Pacific Ave

A Google Maps image of 3355 Pacific Avenue in San Francisco, California.

Google Maps

3355 Pacific Avenue is a 1926 mansion that bestows breathtaking views of the Presidio. It brought in a whopping $29.5 million in an off-market deal this Novemberaccording to Redfin’s listing as well as property records.

Redfin records also tell us the mansion is 9,081 square feet with four bedrooms, seven bathrooms and an elevator. Inside, large windows in the formal dining room frame the Golden Gate Bridge, while outside is an oversized landscaped lot of 7,661 square feet. So yeah, lots and lots of space to this one.

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