Business Insider Edition

An 'uninhabitable' shack that's missing a wall is on the market for nearly R30 million in San Francisco

Libertina Brandt , Business Insider US
 Dec 14, 2019, 10:03 AM
A shack in San Francisco that's on the market for nearly $2 million.
  • An uninhabitable 60 square metre shack in San Francisco is asking for $1.95 million (R30 million).
  • San Francisco is home to one of the most expensive housing markets in the US, with a median home value of R20 million).
  • According to a report by NBC, the shack is unsafe to walk through and is missing a back wall.
  • However, the property comes with views of the city skyline and a pre-approved demolition permit.
  • The home was originally listed fo R36 million in May but has received two price cuts since September. The most recent drop was in early December, when the price fell from $2.25 million to $1.95 million.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa's homepage. 

San Francisco is home to one of the most expensive housing markets in the US.

Still, even in a city with a median home value of $1,352,300 (R20 million), finding an uninhabitable shack - that's missing a back wall - on the market for nearly R30 million is something of a shock.

According to Zillow, the tiny, 60 square metre shack was bought by its current owners in 2016 for about $1.5 million (R21 million).

Located in Potrero Hill, a hilly San Francisco neighbourhood with a median home value of $1,403,800 (R20 million), the shack made headlines back in May when it was listed for a jaw-dropping $2.5 million (R36 million).

A report by ABC stated that after just a week on the market, listing agent Anne Laury had given out 22 disclosure packets to potential buyers. The shack has received two price cuts: In September, the price of the shack fell from $2.5 million to $2.25 million. In early December, the price was again cut, this time by another $300,000 (R4 million), to $1.95 million.

In an interactive collection of photos on, NBC reporter Jonathan Bloom takes viewers inside the shack. It's in shambles. The photos show furniture and pieces of wood scattered throughout the home. What appears to be the kitchen opens directly up into the overgrown backyard by way of the shack's missing back wall.

Despite the fact that the shack is unsafe to walk through, the property's nearly R30 million price tag does come with two redeeming factors. One of those comes in the shape of the views it affords of the city skyline. Bloom showcases that view, which he writes is "the real value of the property."

A view of the city skyline from the street in front of the shack.

The other draw is that the current owners already have a permit to demolish the home. According to NBC, the property is pre-approved for a four-story house.

Laury told Business Insider that since the price cut, she has given out seven disclosure packages. In fact, there's even been an offer.

The real draw to the property, Laury told Business Insider, is its location and appeal to first-time buyers who are looking for a chance to buy into San Francisco's housing market.

For years, San Francisco's housing market has been outrageously expensive.

As Laura McCamy previously reported for Business Insider, you'll need to earn at least $172,000 (R2 million) a year to afford a home in San Francisco. Meanwhile, the median sales price of a two-bedroom home in the city has increased by 329% since 2000.

Renters, too, are struggling to afford living costs. Business Insider previously reported that some renters are dishing out $1,200 (R17,000) a month for bunk beds in co-living buildings to save on rent. Even the city's highest-paid workers, tech workers, are spending over $2,000 (R28,000) a month to rent rooms in vacant Victorian homes.

The city's housing crisis is so dire that on October 22, Facebook pledged $1 billion to help fix it. In a blog post, the company said it will spread out an investment of $1 billion over the next decade to create around 200,000 housing units to help professionals such as teachers, nurses, and first responders live closer to the communities they work in.

Facebook isn't the only big tech company looking to ease the housing crisis. Back in June, The New York Times reported that Google pledged to invest $1 billion to build homes in the Bay Area. According to the report, the company believes the investment could help build at least 20,000 homes.

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