File photo by Lydia Chávez

Either something is actually going on with the housing market or us media people are just so sick of writing the same headline about rents being up that people are starting to write alternative predictions out of sheer spite. Is the bubble bursting? Or is this bubble more of a balloon, having grown huge and strong with the burst of hot-air VC funding and now beginning to deflate slowly as that same funding slows down? Will it go out with a bang, or more of a feeble, squeaky raspberry? Will it even go out at all?

I can’t pretend to know, but since the last Developments in Development, Curbed writes that median rents have dropped – again. The price of one- and two-bedroom apartments on the market both dropped, with two-bedrooms going down 4.1 percent from November to December and ending up with a median price lower than last year’s. They are still an ulcer-inducing $4,630 a month, but hey, at least it’s not getting higher?

Curbed reported in October that condo and single family home prices were also starting to level off a bit, and sellers were getting fewer offers, and the Business Times also said in November that things are, indeed, slowing down.

Then there was this piece in the Chronicle about how a tech slowdown could affect housing, in which an expert says tech is due for a “correction” in the next three years, though it might not affect housing prices as dramatically as the dot-com bust did because supposedly this generation of housing buyers in tech aren’t using money from stock options but rather help from their parents.

Let’s see what happens as the weather heats back up and people start moving again.

Legislators are trying their darndest to figure out how to tackle crazy housing costs and displacement at a local and national level.

Nationally, the federal government is starting to track the purchases of luxury homes in Manhattan and Miami, requiring real estate companies to reveal the names of all-cash buyers who would ordinarily hide behind LLCs. The initiative is designed to target money laundering. If it turns out over the course of the six-month trial period that this is a rampant problem, the government may expand this policy across the country, the New York Times reports.

Locally, San Francisco supervisors are pushing for ballot measures that will increase affordable housing requirements for new developers to 25 percent and trying to find ways to expand rent control.

The Planning Commission also approved, after six separate hearings on the topic, new controls on market-rate developments in the neighborhood, setting a higher bar for developers to show that they are doing all they can to propose a project that doesn’t contribute to displacement. The Commission, incidentally, also made a bit of a change in leadership, swapping former vice president Cindy Wu for two-year Commissioner Dennis Richards.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood landscape continues to shift.

Capp Street Crap reports that the former Truck is now open as the Wooden Nickel. Visitors receive, predictably, wooden nickels – good for discounts and free drinks.

Dolores Park’s $20.5 million restoration is now complete, but park officials postponed a grand opening of the southern half that was supposed to take place on Thursday due to weather. The new date? Yet to be determined. Hopefully the park will be slightly less soggy next week.

A branch of the popular and pricey gourmet snack spot Salumeria inside Hamm’s building on Bryant and Alameda has closed, but in its place we now have a La Cocina graduate from Mexico, who is putting her own twist on … crepes? (More on that soon.)

And finally, conceptual artist David Ireland’s home on Capp Street is now a museum, with his cement desserts and broom assemblages preserved for all to see. Not sure what to make of it? Read this Q&A.

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