Your Rent Is Really Not That Insane

Map from Zumper, via CurbedSF.

There’s a lot of talk as to increase in rents and people being displaced. But, how does it look in terms of numbers? This via Curbed SF: The Mission has had a 5 to 10% increase in the past year on rent according to this map by Zumper.

To start, big price increases of 20 percent only happened in three major neighborhoods: SoMa, Bernal Heights, and the Marina. Being that SoMa’s home to the city’s thriving tech scene, that increase seems understandable. Same goes for Bernal, which has been crowned The Hottest Neighborhood of 2014. READ MORE HERE

According to the Business Insider, Zumper collects their data from January 2013 to 2014 from their own site, making information more accurate, as opposed to using Craigslist data.

“Yes, tech is driving demand and prices for apartments, but only in specific neighborhoods,” he said. “A lot of focus is placed on SOMA or the Mission where a lot of tech workers have moved, but that’s not representative of the city as a whole. There are plenty of neighborhoods where people aren’t wearing Google Glass and jumping into a Google shuttle.”

Other factors contributing to high rents include rising construction of luxury condos, increase in short-term rentals (which tend to be more expensive than long-term), and rent-controlled housing. Most units in San Francisco are protected under rent control, but that locks up housing supply, according to Glass-Moore.  READ MORE

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

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  1. John

    Yes, I have long suspected that this is more a problem of perception than reality.

    Not only do some people feel entitled to live in San Francisco regardless of their earning power, but they want to only live in the more desirable zip codes as well.

    A little flexibility reveals that you can halve your rent by moving as little as a couple of miles. There’s a place for everyone as long as you don’t have ideas above your station.

  2. Andrew

    Rent IS that insane. Before I moved here I was paying maybe a thousand dollars including utilities for a two bedroom townhouse in a friendly area. Now I am spending over twice as much for a one bedroom at Park Merced which is also a safe and nice area. Almost everyone I talk to spends most of their income on rent. That leaves no money for emergencies or retirement. The high cost of living here is the main reason my wife and I are moving out of CA next summer. We are both teachers and do not get paid enough money to save up for starting a family and buying a home. The teacher shortage and income inequality in the Bay Area will only get worse and worse in the years to come and I feel sorry for those of whom it will hurt most, specifically the children of the working poor who may not get to experience all of the opportunities I took for granted.

    • John

      Andrew, where were you before you moved here and were paying a thousand dollars in rent?

      Surely you knew SF was far more expensive than almost everywhere else before you came here? And equally surely you decided to move here even though you knew that?

      People have an obligation to choose a location that they can comfortably afford. It’s not wrong that SF is expensive any more than it is right that Detroit is cheap. It is what it is and people should all make prudent fiscal choices rather than look to blame someone else for what they cannot afford.

  3. nutrisystem

    I overheard a (loud) cell phone conversation yesterday. It was a nurse, talking to a friend, saying how she had made the difficult decision to take a job in Idaho.

    She had already found a “nice 1 bedroom for $800” there, which is “one quarter of what I’m paying now”.

    So there you have it in miniature: obscene Bay area rents ($3200/month for a 1 br apartment !!) are driving a very well-paid nurse out of the area.

    Real estate greed is slowly poisoning the entire Bay Area human ecosystem.

    Now, I’m sure our resident real estate greed apologist, John, will repeat his mantra: if she can’t afford it here, she should just go where it’s cheaper. Well, she’s doing just that, as is commenter Andrew above.

    The problem with that is we NEED nurses, teachers, servers, etc. to be HERE for the economy to function.

    • John

      Andrew and this nurse are both leaving California and not just San Francisco. Seems their problem is with the cost of living in the State and not just the city.

      Without knowing all the details, I’d suggest that they could in fact find considerably cheaper homes, either in one of the less glittering zip codes of the city, or in Oakland or part of a neighboring county where rents are at half the cited level, or less.

      In the end, all we are seeing here is the market working the way it should. When SF gets too expensive, people leave. when it becomes cheaper, people move here. Indeed, it is that migration that keeps rents in check.

      SF rents and home values aren’t high because of a vast conspiracy or plot, but simply because people like you and I and Andrew and this nurse want to live here.

      Desirable places and expensive and undesirable places are cheap. Who’s have thunk it?

      • nutrisystem

        It’s not just desirability that makes a place expensive. San Francisco still had the nice weather and picturesque hills back in the early 90’s, yet the rents then were 1/4 what they are now.

        No, the rent hyperinflation we are seeing in the entire Bay Area is mostly the result of the irresponsible practice of rapid corporate expansion without the provision of housing that drives up rents…

        An example of this is, an UNDESIRABLE place with sky-high rents, is Williston North Dakota.

        • nutrisystem

          Back in 1942, Bay Area corporation Kaiser Shipyards Richmond rapidly expanded by 90,000 employees. This is similar in scale to the recent growth of the Tech majors.

          Did they just dump these workers onto the market and say “good luck finding housing”?

          No. They rapidly constructed 24,000 units of housing and established transportation networks for the remainder.

          This interesting documentary shows how things were done back when big business showed some civic-mindedness. The worker housing and services are discussed from the 14 to 17 minute mark.

          • John

            Back in the day, workers didn’t mind living in “work camps” But then the 1930’s were the Great Depression and you’d tolerate anything for a job.

            Nobody seriously wants to live in a “Google village” or a “Apple work camp” Your idea is a non-starter.

          • nutrisystem

            In the Video, the Kaiser “work camps”, as you call them, look like any other neighborhood of the day, only newer.

            Today, with their vast resources, companies like Google could build housing indistinguishable from 5 star hotels, and guaran-fuckin-teed these would be snatched up by employees.

            I know a Google engineer who lives in a skanky apartment in Mountain View with 2 other guys – AND it’s expensive. It looks like a Motel 6, but with mismatched bachelor furniture, smelly carpet, and dishes in the sink.

            Do you actually believe those guys wouldn’t jump at the chance to live in deluxe, high-rise, company-owned, nicely furnished apartments of their own?

          • John

            People making 100K a year have options and do not need a paternal employer herding them all into encampments even if they are well built.

            I would not want a home-builder writing software and I do not think a software company should be in the business of building homes.

            You are seeking to banish an entire class of people from SF for no reason other than that you personally do not like them. Separate but equal?

        • John

          nutrisystem, ultimately it isn’t landlords who set rents. It is tenants who set rents by offering to pay it. A LL can ask whatever rent they want but unless it is reasonable and realistic, then it will sit vacant.

          I make that much more specific when I advertize a vacant unit because I will typically invite, say, “offers over 3K”. I then leave it up to the community of renters to decide how much rent I will get.

          And, BTW, I don’t always take the highest bid if I don’t like that particular tenant. I have a list of “toxic” characteristics of tenants and, to the extent that other LL’s have the same set of exclusions, then that class of tenants will find themselves paying more.

          But the point is that it is the customer who determines the price. The housing provider passively accepts what the market gives him.

          • nutrisystem

            Well, unless these prospective tenants want to live in their cars, they’ll have to pay the landlord what he asks.

          • John

            No, a tenant always has options. She can get a smaller place, or a place in a cheaper neighborhood, or in a town just outside SF, or further afield.

            Nobody is forced to pay $3K a month for a 1BR in one of the better zip codes of SF. That’s a desire not a necessity.

  4. lucky

    Clearly the author hasn’t tried finding an apartment recently. And neither has commenter John who’s vomited all over this thread. You can’t find an “affordable” apartment anymore, period. Not in the sunset, not in bayview, not in mission terrace or excelsior. If you can afford anything less than $1400 for a 1 bdr, you’ll have to live in a dark cavern in daly city with a mini fridge in the middle of your bedroom and no stove. you might get a window that looks into a hallway though, so there’s that. or you can live with 4 other housemates and relive your college years! I agree that maybe things haven’t changed so much in the last year, because they’ve been crazy for a few. In 2009 I was paying $2000 for a 3 bdr house in laurel heights. In 2005 it was $1200 for a 2 bdr in the same neighborhood. You gotta move to Richmond for prices like that now.

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