Well, here I am looking at numbers again. I gather these data from Craigslist.org. They include all listings except for rooms for rent and duplications. As I look at these numbers I really want to comment, but I restrain myself, as the real insight comes from you. Weigh in — what do you see in the plots?
The graph above is my favorite. Why? Because it includes every apartment that has been listed on Craigslist for the past couple of years. The bigger red balls are the most recent plots. Individual plots are important because the sample size is so small that a place listed with a crazy high or low rent distorts the averages.
The vertical or “y” axis is the listed rent; the horizontal or “x” axis is the number of apartments. That means the plot is determined by the rent and then where the listing is in a hierarchy of units. The apartments are prioritized (sorted) first by the number of bedrooms; hence, the first clump of plots is studio apartments, the second one-bedrooms and so on. The second priority is the rental rate itself. The apartments are displayed this way so that the slope of the plots is more meaningful.
My friends politely say, “That’s pretty … pretty confusing.” Oh well, the chart has all the data points. These plots are “snapshots” taken on the first and 15th of each month.
This is the one everyone likes. It’s simply the average rent of apartments offered on Craigslist. Each line represents a different bedroom configuration.
The vertical yellow line is the same time a year ago. As you can see, the sample goes clear back to 2009. I wish there was a way to determine how many people are looking for apartments in the Mission, but there isn’t. The other part of the economic equation is supply.
The chart below looks at how many apartments are for rent.
This graph stacks all apartment configurations, one atop the other. What it shows is overall availability. These aren’t averages; they are the actual number of places, listed by configuration, that were available on the first and 15th.
Of greater help is the chart below, which shows availability by configuration plotted independently, thus providing a feel for trends by configuration.
Now this is a bunch of “worm trails and fly speck.” The real fun comes from looking at the data and converting it into wild speculation, subterfuge and conspiracy theory.
Make some comments. What do you see? Be nice. There’s enough vitriol in the mainstream press.