1 Bedroom or 2 Bedrooms?

Condos are the red-headed step-child of real estate in many areas of the country. Not so here in San Francisco, where some buyers actually prefer condominiums because they don’t have to worry about yard or building maintenance and they enjoy the sense of community orĀ building amenities, especially if it happens to be in a luxury condo building where the owners aren’t home very often.

One question we’ve been asked over the years is whether a one bedroom condo is a better investment than a two bedroom condo, or vice versa? Actually, what the question really boils down to is, “Are one bedroom condos a good investment?” with the concern being that most home buyers are couples, and will therefore want at least two bedrooms.

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1 Bedroom Condo Appreciation in San Francisco, 2009 – 2012

An excellent question deserves an excellent answer, and as you can see from the two graphs, both one and two bedroom condos are very good investments in San Francisco. Looking back at the last three years, a one bedroom condo appreciated about 18% while a two bedroom condo appreciated about 14%. If we look at all residential property types across San Francisco, the appreciation over the last three years was about 12% (not pictured), so either type of condo would have done better than the market as a whole.

Most people expect that the two bedroom condo would appreciate more quickly, but as you can see that isn’t the case.

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2 Bedroom Condo Appreciation in San Francisco, 2009 – 2012

One bedroom condos are solid performers in San Francisco, a city where plenty of very well-paid individuals that only need one bedroom live.

What are your thoughts on the 1 bedroom vs. 2 bedroom debate? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Data source: San Francisco Multiple Listing Service.