It isn't exactly a secret that San Francisco is an expensive place to live.

According to Yahoo! Homes, not only does San Francisco already have the highest median home price of any major American metro area, but home prices in the city are increasing at a faster rate than any other large urban area in the country.

From April to May of this year, the median price of buying a home in San Francisco increased 3.9 percent to $705,000.


"The city is split into a number of different neighborhoods, each one more vibrant and eclectic than the next," wrote Yahoo! Homes. "From the famous 'Painted Ladies' that line the streets to world-class dining and nightlife, San Francisco has something for any homeowner who has money to burn."

Let's say, hypothetically, you're not one of those Internet millionaires all the kids are talking about these days. In that case, buying a home in the city is likely out of your price range and, like most San Franciscans, you'll just find an apartment to rent.

Oh, right. The San Francisco apartment rental market is also the most expensive in the country.

What about affordable housing? Maybe you could apply for a government subsidy and get some below market rate housing.

Oh, right. Federal dollars for housing have shrunk dramatically, the end of redevelopment has eliminated most of the city's affordable housing budget, waiting lists for government housing programs can stretch over a decade, virtually no new affordable housing has been built in the state of California in over decade and the recession's overwhelming flood of foreclosures has spiked the demand for subsidized housing.

Maybe the city could just build a bunch of new market rate houses, which would increase supply, reduce buyer competition and put downward pressure on prices?

Oh, right. To even come close to meeting demand, San Francisco would have to add tens of thousands of new units within the next couple decades. That's virtually impossible in a city where development is slow and regulations are tight.

So let's all just move to Oakland. Things are cheaper in the East Bay.

Oh, right. Rents in the East Bay have been increasing almost as fast as they have in San Francisco. It turns out then when everyone gets the same idea to move to the East Bay because things are cheaper there, it kind of defeats the purpose of moving there in the first place.

The San Francisco Chronicle manages to put a positive spin on the San Francisco's every-growing affordability, writing that "this news doesn’t bode well of course for hopeful homebuyers but is probably a welcome update to underwater homeowners and those looking to sell."

Our own silver lining: maybe San Francisco is insanely expensive. But at least we have one of the best new Jewish delis in the country.

Anyway, have some real estate porn:

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  • 2209 Pacific Avenue, $8.6 million

    As Curbed pointed out, this three-bedroom, six-bathroom (plus two-powder room) Beaux Arts home was designed by the same architect behind City Hall and the Opera House. It also hosts amenities including a library, an elevator, a wine cellar, a theater and a luscious French garden. <a href="" target="_hplink">2209 Pacific Avenue</a>.

  • 2555 Union St., $8.95 million

    One of Cow Hollow's few modern homes, <a href="" target="_hplink">2555 Union St.</a> utilizes concrete and steel in this four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom house. The home is contemporary inside and out, with rock gardens, clean lines and spaces and guest-friendly details like an entertainment room and gallery.

  • 2505 Divisadero St., $9.25 million

    Eight bedrooms, eight-and-a-half baths, classic San Francisco, full bar and billiard room, once belonged to Metallica's Kirk Hammett -- all perched on top of Pacific Heights. Rock and roll. <a href="" target="_hplink">2505 Divisadero St.</a>

  • 2698 Pacific Ave., $9.8 million

    A classic example of SF Beaux Arts architecture, <a href="" target="_hplink">2698 Pacific Ave.</a> has details like a pair of grand staircases, numerous great rooms with working fireplaces, ornately stamped and etched ceilings, a formal dining room, a motorcourt, eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and two powder rooms.

  • Herbst Manor , $12.5 million

    Herbst Manor is one of San Francisco's more recognizable Pacific Heights landmarks. <a href="" target="_hplink">According to Curbed</a>, the interior is awash with mirrors, gilt trim and murals, and the famous exterior is a fortress of brick. Inside, the five bedrooms are surprisingly filled with light, and floor-to-ceiling windows on the top floor offer a spectacular view. <a href="" target="_hplink">2800 Pacific Ave.</a>

  • 2799 Pacific Ave., $12.5 million

    This whopping, 16,474-square-foot, 11-bedroom, 11.5-bath estate is another Pacific Heights landmark. The 75-foot lap pool, carriage house, a stained glass domed ceiling make <a href="" target="_hplink">2799 Pacific Ave.</a> the stuff Danielle Steele novels are made of.

  • 2020 Jackson St., $17.5 million

    HuffPost SF realizes that there is no picture of the actual home in this slide (<a href="" target="_hplink">click here for dozens of them</a>) but we felt that the most impressive feature at <a href="" target="_hplink">2020 Jackson St.</a> is the sky-high rooftop terrace. (Also not pictured is the entirely out-of-place, but super sweet yellow corkscrew tube slide in the children's playground.) A unique property, 2020 Jackson is a maze of indoor and outdoor spaces and opulent and luxurious features. It's also a wonderland for children: included in the seven bedrooms is a charming children's room with an impressive Peter Rabbit mural.

  • 2808 Broadway, $25 million

    HuffPost SF <a href="" target="_hplink">covered this beauty back in July</a>, and the house doesn't seem to have lost any of its luster. <a href="" target="_hplink">2808 Broadway</a> boasts multiple kitchens, four bedrooms, an arched portico entry, a lush courtyard, an adorable pitched ceiling top floor bedroom and all of the usual Pacific Heights mansion amenities.

  • 2901 Broadway, $38 million

    This baby needs an aerial shot just to get the whole place in the photo. Besides a panoramic view of the Golden Gate bridge, the bay and the entire city, <a href="" target="_hplink">2901 Broadway</a> also has a surprisingly fresh interior. Unlike most of the mansions on the street, 2901 Broadway pops with cyan bedrooms, a music room, a dark and modern dining room and tangerine and eggplant accents throughout. (There's even an old VW bug in the garage!) However, according to Curbed, the place is also in dire need of repairs, which accounted for a recent price dip.

  • 2845 Broadway, $38.5 million

    And finally, the grand dame of San Francisco real estate, 2845 Broadway. Curiously, the house isn't even finished (isn't even close to finished), but that's not keeping it from clocking in at 38.5 million on the one percent scale. A self-proclaimed Gold Coast masterpiece, the estate spans two lots and is wrapped entirely in French limestone. Inside, a three-story, sun-filled atrium makes for a stunning centerpiece, and gives the Italian home great potential. And for anyone flabbergasted at the price, <a href="" target="_hplink">just check out this place in Palo Alto</a>.