No One Likes 1980s Architecture

Decade of construction dictates performance on the market.

1365 Scott St., which is currently for sale for $899,000. (Courtesy Zillow)

While much of the country lives in modern houses built in the last 30 years, San Francisco’s old housing stock — much of which originated in the early 1900s — keeps the rich architectural styles of the past century front of mind. New analysis from real-estate company Estately examines how the year a house was built can dictate its cost.

For the most part, the price chart of San Francisco homes is like an inverted pyramid. The farther back you go, the more expensive the home becomes. Homebuyers in present-day San Francisco believe houses built in the 1880s are the most valuable, currently selling for an average of $3,262,500. Then there’s a significant drop in the 1890s, with homes averaging $2,355,000. The 1900s are $1,672,000.50 — yes, this data is apparently calculated down to the cent — and the 1910s see a slight uptick, landing at $1.7 million.

The prices continue declining slightly by decade, until they reach a tipping point: the 1980s. Yes, the era of blank facades, cathedral ceilings, sunken living rooms, and mirrored closets is the least desirable, if you’re looking at prices alone: Houses built during that decade, which were sold in the past year, only averaged $975,000.

But history corrected itself, and once the Deconstructivism style of prison-like buildings disappeared from fashion, prices have continued to rise for each subsequent decade. Today, homes in San Francisco that were built in the 2010s cost an average of $1.7 million — the same as their 1910 counterparts.

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