Craigslist seems to be telling us that more apartments are available in the Mission. Here are some charts that show the trends as represented by listings on Craigslist. It’s important to remember that these plots reflect the situation on the first and 15th of each month. All kinds of crazy things happen between “snapshot” times. I have omitted single rooms and duplicate listings. The charts provide a sense of the trends.
When you look at the same data plotted independently, it shows an increase in the availability of one- and two-bedroom apartments, while the others remain about the same.
One would expect the rental rates to drop as availability increases. Well, just as availability decreased, the rates trailed the availability. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise; it takes time for a market (renter and landlord) to feel a change and alter behavior. It’s uncertain whether or how rent stabilization ordinances might alter these dynamics.
The next chart is my favorite, as it plots every apartment independently. It is, indeed, a little obscure, but it really tells the whole story. Each dot represents an individual apartment for rent. The colors code the time of the snapshot; apartments available on any given day share a color. The most recent is the red ball. The first cluster of dots are studio apartments, the second is one-bedroom units, and so on. This chart shows “outliers,” which are missed by the rate chart above. For example, check out the one- and two-bedroom plots. Clearly, as they said on Sesame Street, “are not like the others.” Yet when included in the average, they tend to overstate the central rate.
So there you have it. Once again these charts are kind of like a rorschach test. What do you see? What do you think the future will be? It seems as if rentals, especially in the Mission, are blown about by a hundred winds from a million directions. Where are we headed now? Fun to muse; impossible to predict.