Eureka Valley is fairly close to the geographical center of San Francisco and contains most of the famous neighborhood known as The Castro. Ironically, from a real estate perspective, the Castro is not a formally defined neighborhood, despite the fact that it’s better known than Eureka Valley and is one of the best known neighborhoods in San Francisco.
The Castro generally refers to an area that includes part of Eureka Valley and most of the surrounding neighborhoods to the east, north and west. This is discussed in detail on the neighborhood description page of the CastroValues website.
Eureka Valley and Noe Valley, directly to the south, are two of the main “central” neighborhoods where the housing stock is a mixture of condos, SFRs, TICs and small-format multi-unit buildings (duplexes, triplexes, etc.) Over the last year, condos and SFRs were 40% and 38% of Eureka Valley unit sales respectively.
This mixture of property types makes Eureka Valley accessible to people with a wide range of economic means. Small TICs and condos can be purchased for under $500,000 while spectacular high-end single family homes can sell for more than $2 million.
Eureka Valley has some of the best access to high-speed public transit in the city. There is an underground subway stop at the corner of Castro & Market and another one at Market & Church. This system gets people downtown in under 15 minutes, even in rush hour.
From a weather perspective, Eureka Valley sits in the lee of several hills that effectively block ocean fog most of the time. These hills include: Twin Peaks, Diamond Heights, Mount Sutro and Mount Parnassus.
Frequently Eureka Valley will be sunny and ten degrees warmer when the western neighborhoods are deep in the heavy cold fog that comes and goes throughout the summer months.
If you click on the Terrain View of the map, you will see the various hills and slopes that come into play, including Liberty Hill. These also provide some homes with fantastic views that do nothing to reduce property values.
Eureka Valley has many supply and demand dynamics in common with Noe Valley, which is an architecturally similar neighborhood directly to the south. The history and evolution of these two areas is discussed in a little more detail below, while the demographics and practical economics of buying in these two areas is discussed in more depth on the neighborhood description page of the Noe Valley website.
Like Noe Valley, Eureka Valley was not destroyed by the earthquake and subsequent fire in 1906. As a result, there is a healthy stock of mostly renovated Victorian and Edwardian homes. These are mixed in with other new, mid- and late-century properties, some of which are condos and some single family homes.
There is also a significant number of 2-4 unit properties that started out as rental apartments. These are often purchased by residential ownership groups who hold title as Tenants in Common (TICs). This is a form of fractional ownership with specific occupancy rights and is popular in many of the higher density northern and eastern neighborhoods of San Francisco.
TICs exist as a means to essentially thwart the city council’s unwillingness to allow the rental housing stock to be converted into condos. TICs are significantly less costly to purchase than condos but they come with a more complex financing and ownership profile.