I posted the question with a chart at the end of March and we received some great answers to a complex question.
As you can see from the latest chart above, the increased availability continues, but appears to be moderating. Here is a brief synopsis of the many great thoughts from Mission Local readers.
- Many large, multi-unit rental properties are being completed and brought onto the market.
- The general rental market is opening up, and prices are moderating outside the Mission.
- Landlords have been holding empty units off of the market.
- Higher interest rates are forcing some property owners to put their vacant properties back on the market.
- Many new buildings have opened, but are undesirable by design. They appear as new listings, but nobody wants to live in them.
- Eviction protections are expiring at the end of the month.
- Decline correlates with lower rental rates.
- Tech employees are leaving because they are scared by what real life in the Mission is like and how it is evolving.
- People are leaving to avoid the crime and filth in the Mission.
- Vacancies due to Covid-19 deaths.
- The data graphed is out of context. A larger data set is needed for proper evaluation.
- Some kind of data misrepresentation by craigslist.
- Residents of the Mission are transitioning to being unhoused because it is a better mode. of life.
- Vacancies due to extraterrestrial relocation to Roswell, NM.
All of these ideas are very reasonable (including a move to Roswell). No single idea stood out. A point of agreement seemed to be change triggered by the end of the pandemic. Thanks to you all for your serious, and not-so-serious, thoughts.
My take: The Mission has recently seen a lot of high-density residential renovations. I don’t have the numbers. The strategy is turning a two- or three-family house into a very nice high-density dwelling for two or three times the number of occupants. These properties are “soaking” up the normal influx of newcomers.
As the normal vacancy pattern of the Mission continues, there isn’t the same availability pressure. Listings stay on the market longer. I also, without data, believe the emergence of the new variant of omicron, and significant general economic uncertainty, is causing people to stay put. This created the “perfect storm” of availability. Remember Isaac Newton’s famous words, “what goes up must come down,” unless the city stimulates and simplifies more residential buildings for all socioeconomic housing segments.