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(Above: Noe Valley home for sale: $1,595,000)

October is undeniably one of the best months of the year in San Francisco.  Fogged-in city dwellers yearn for the season’s sunny weather, Fleet Week, and at the end of the month, Halloween.  This year, the City’s youngest residents can rejoice, because not only is San Francisco ranked the second-best city in the country for trick-or-treating, but we’ve also got the scoop on the neighborhood level too. For the second year in a row, we put our data statisticians to work calculating Zillow’s San Francisco Trick-or-Treat Housing Index — a scientific crack at ranking neighborhoods for the best candy booty.

Top 5 San Francisco Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat in 2010

1. Noe Valley (#2 in 2009)
2. Marina (#19 in 2009)
3. Haight-Ashbury (#4 in 2009)
4. Inner Richmond (#3 in 2009)
5. Pacific Heights (#14 in 2009)

Methodology

There is a common belief that wealthy neighborhoods are the Holy Grail for harvesting the most Halloween candy. However, to provide a more holistic approach to trick-or-treating, the Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index was calculated using four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on those variables, the Index represents neighborhoods that will provide the most candy, with the least walking and safety risks.  Data variances between 2009 and 2010 rankings can be the result of changes in home values and local crime data.

The Scoop on SF’s Top Neighborhoods

Number two on our list last year, Noe Valley rules the Trick-or-Treat Index in 2010, to the delight of its fashionable skinny-jean-wearing toddlers. Noe topped the list for its high property values (current Noe Valley ZHVI: $1,024,200), relatively low crime rates and density of homes (i.e., more pretty little Victorians per block). As a plus, you’re less likely to get lost among the ghoulish San Francisco fog in “always-sunny” Noe Valley.

Marina girls can rejoice as they (and the kids they nanny for) won’t have to travel far for a candy score on Halloween night.  San Francisco’s Marina district took the number two spot on our Index this year. High-priced homes (current Marina ZHVI: $1,210,600), walkability and recently-decreased crime rates give this ‘hood a high probability of Halloween riches. Not to mention fewer steep hills for little legs (and grown-up Louboutins) to hike.

At number three on our Index, Haight-Ashbury is home to neo-punks, club kids, fashionitas, tourists and neighborhood folks alike. The ‘streets are highly walkable and particularly welcoming to big kids who like their costumes every day of the year.  You can have your fun on bustling Haight Street, or walk up Ashbury to tree-lined avenues of beautiful Victorians and by our estimates — a plethora of candy.  Haight-Ashbury ranked in the City’s top third for walkability, home values (current Haight-Ashbury ZHVI: $883,300), and low crime. (Flickr photo: donielle)

For the second year in a row, Inner Richmond makes our top-five list for high density, walkable streets and high home values, buoyed by the beautiful homes that align the Presidio.  One of the most diverse neighborhoods on our list, Inner Richmond has become a bustling multicultural community with an eclectic mix of stucco houses, grand mansions, inexpensive eateries and a good variety of shops. The current Zillow Home Value Index for Inner Richmond is $982,100.

Pacific Heights, the Grande Dame and Hollywood darling of San Francisco neighborhoods, rounds out our top-five list.  The current Pacific Heights ZHVI of $1,125,900, chances are high you’ll hit the candy lottery as you take in sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay (there’s even a real haunted home with a ghost named Claudia – it sold last year for $3.5 million).

See our U.S. ranking of Best 20 Cities to Trick or Treat (San Francisco is #2!), or read about Best Places to Trick or Treat in Seattle.

Next: Best Places to Trick or Treat in Portland, OR.

> See homes for sale in San Francisco

> See home values in San Francisco

About the Author

Amy Bohutinsky is Zillow’s chief marketing officer. She joined the company in 2005, prior to Zillow’s launch, and oversees all marketing and communications, including brand, PR, social media, advertising, email and business development.

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