Prices in San Francisco Are on the Decline, Property Owners Are Taking Advantage of it – ‘It’s Like Drinking From A Fire Hose’

By: Carissa | Published: Oct 22, 2023

Real estate prices in San Francisco have dropped significantly – and property owners are filing for appeals to cut property assessments and tax payments because of it.

Brookefield Corp. and Blackstone Inc., two of the leading landlords in the world, have filed for assessment cuts. This has become a popular route to take for property owners, who are eager to cash in on San Francisco’s plummeting real estate market. 

As Real Estate Value Drops, Property Appeals Drastically Increase

Property owners have never experienced such a disastrous market in San Francisco – until now. Mark Ong, founder of Independent Tax Representatives, is one of the many people looking to benefit from assessment cuts.


Source: Grow Gorgeous

“It’s like drinking from a fire hose,” he said. “I’ve done this [for] 37 years and I’ve never had a year like this one.” The number of property appeals has doubled in the years since the pandemic, with that number expected to soar before the September 15 filing deadline.


The Pandemic Continues to Stifle San Francisco

San Francisco’s economy has never recovered from the pandemic. Lowered property assessments could mean big problems for the city itself, including lower tax revenue for police and aid for the homeless.


Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Recognizing that San Francisco’s real estate market is in trouble could send the doomed city into a deeper spiral of disrepair. For the previous fiscal year, San Francisco residents asked for a $60 billion reduction on property.

The City is Struggling Financially

San Francisco is under immense financial strain and is estimated to be $780 million in debt throughout 2025.


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The lowered property values are only making things more difficult, with the city likely having to refund $167 million to property owners over the next two years due to appeals. Mark Ong’s firm filed about $11 billion worth of appeals on San Francisco property in the last year alone.

More Appeals Mean Big Problems for San Francisco

While San Francisco continues to grapple with the rising number of assessment appeals, other cities are seeing a similar trend.


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Assessment appeals are sweeping the nation, with Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York all feeling the burn of an economic downturn. Property owners may be loving the tax refunds, but the payouts could ultimately be catastrophic for the city of San Francisco.