By American standards, San Francisco is a compact city, just 47 square miles but that hasn’t stopped people queuing up to move there.
Thriving technology firms and their billionaire owners, dot-com start ups, international businesses and anyone looking for a cultured and creative lifestyle have swelled the population of the ever-popular Californian city in the past five years. It’s a working city, a tourist city and despite being the second most densely populated city in the USA (after New York) it is considered a most “liveable” city.
San Francisco is surrounded on three sides by water, a green and hilly peninsula on the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco’s Bay. Often foggy and always liberal, the city’s famous landmarks include The Golden Gate Bridge and the streetcars and cable cars that help ease the journey up some of its 43 hills. Striking architecture incudes candy-coloured Victorian terraces lined up on the hills and edgy modern design.
San Francisco offers distinct neighbourhoods for house hunters. Established prime areas include the houses of Sea Cliff and the pristine rollercoaster-steep streets of Nob Hill. Pacific Heights with beautiful Victorian and Edwardian homes and The Marina with picture-perfect views over the water also offer exclusive apartments and houses.
Hipsters will like Oakland, across the Bay, or The Mission, a rare predominantly flatter area with easy links to Downtown. The newer area of Mission Bay has good links to Silicon Valley. Families like the space and parks of the Noe Valley and further out of the city, leafy North Bay where they can commute to work by ferry.
SoMa (South of Market) is a new area growing in popularity, especially with a well-heeled tech start-up crowd. It is on the northeastern edge of the peninsula close to Downtown and the Financial District.