Now that Mayor Newsom is married he is selling his sweet bachelor penthouse in Russian Hill.  Apparently the condo has been reduced from its original asking price of $3.2 million just a couple of months ago, to a little less than $3 million today.  It’s pretty sweet, but crazy expensive for 1600 square feet and $1,400 a month in HOA dues.  You would have to be seriously big pimpin’ to buy this place.

Home prices in the Bay Area have lost $202 billion in value this last year. Bay Area home prices also dropped 18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, which is more than the overall U.S. decline of 11 percent. Only 12 zip codes in the Bay Area gained value. Those rare “appreciating” zip codes are in affluent areas such as Atherton, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, parts of San Francisco, Berkeley and Bodega Bay.

What would you think if I told you that there are condos in SoMa being sold for $279,000?  Well, it’s true.  They are right next to Whole Foods and just a block away from Moscone too.  The only problem is that they are 250 square feet in size.  The company that is marketing these is claiming that they appeal to first-time buyers that want to get into the market.  At first glance these seem like a good deal, except of course they are not.

These mini condos are selling at $1,116 per square foot while regular sized condos in the area sell for about $500 to $600 per square foot.  They are twice as expensive as a 1200 square foot condo selling for $650,000, or roughly $540 per square foot.  While I agree that coming up with $650,000 is a lot harder than coming up with $279,000, it certainly does not make these condos cheap.

The developers are essentially selling this space at twice the market price.  They are just hoping there will be enough fools to make their little scheme worthwhile.  Who knows?  These mini condos may even raise the prices for the regular sized condos and lofts around them.  Stay tuned.