Bernal Heights may be the San Francisco neighborhood where the housing boom is most acutely felt. And Oakland’s housing prices are increasing faster than S.F.’s are. But the Bayview is apparently the semi-stealth “winner” when it comes to year-over-year price increases. In the last two years, average home prices in the 94124 have shot up by 59 percent, even though they’re still quite a bit below the city median. But as SF Gate reported, the most expensive single-family home recorded in the Bayview, located at 1562 McKinnon Avenue, just sold for $1.3 million, way above its asking price of $899,000. (And it’s a pretty glitzy pad; the gold-enameled column in the alcove with a bust perched on it is way Edgar Allan Poe.)
In a sense, these numbers sound pretty neutral. It’s basically just simple math that the lower the baseline, the more dramatic the jump even when things increase by the same dollar amount (i.e., $500,000 to $750,000 is a bigger percentage leap than $1 million to $1.25 million). But of course, Bayview-Hunters Point is one of the last redoubts of San Francisco’s African-American population, plus it’s nearly one-third Asian-American and a quarter Latino as well. And as SF Gate quotes a local realtor, “The Bayview will have more development than any area outside of Mission Bay.”
While both places seem like relatively inexpensive new frontiers for urban pioneers to pounce on, the Bayview and Mission Bay are not the same. One is a diverse neighborhood where people have been making their lives for decades, and the other is a bland, artificial construction where even the dog park is privatized.
Yes, San Francisco urgently needs development, and yes, no one will be building 8-story buildings with affordable housing in Lower Pac Heights anytime soon, but to treat the Bayview as a blank slate is a big problem. Contaminated brownfields aside, it looks like the earth is being plowed for condos, and soon.