Rents are rising: News at 11
September 14, 2007 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Rents are up in San Francisco. CraigStatsSF can tell you by how much over the last year. (coming soon: NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and more. What neighborhoods are hot? (Heatmaps are cool). Firefox is your friend.
posted by rtha (45 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
$3800 for a 3-bedroom? Who exactly is making the kind of income to afford that for housing, besides executives and engineers?
posted by hodyoaten at 3:06 PM on September 14, 2007


I believe San Francisco, like Manhattan, is rapidly becoming an enclave of executives and engineers.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Heh, this is done by a friend of mine.
posted by pombe at 3:11 PM on September 14, 2007


$3800 for a 3-bedroom?

Split between 3 roommates that's only $1266 per person... expensive, but not an outrageous amount for many. There are plenty of $3000+ 3 bedroom apartments all around Chicago and all but a few are probably shared...

Also, I think this might be a double...
posted by wfrgms at 3:11 PM on September 14, 2007


Rents are down in Iowa City...
posted by MarshallPoe at 3:15 PM on September 14, 2007


"only $1266 per person"
That's still ridiculous.
I share a good size house with a yard and a hot tub and pay less than 1/2 that.
posted by 2sheets at 3:15 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Remember when we used sit around remember'n? Remember?

Like I remember when you could rent a big old five bedroom house in a prime neighborhood in Seattle for less than six hundred dollars a month. Oh. Waaay back in 1990. A hundred bucks per room mate. That was before we were cursed with being a "most livable city."

posted by tkchrist at 3:22 PM on September 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


I share a good size house with a yard and a hot tub and pay less than 1/2 that.

2sheets, spare us your outrage. $1266 a month is a lot of money to you and me, but its not to many people.
posted by wfrgms at 3:22 PM on September 14, 2007


I share a good size house with a yard and a hot tub and pay less than 1/2 that.

Where? Utah? Go Figure?
posted by tkchrist at 3:23 PM on September 14, 2007


2sheets, spare us your outrage. $1266 a month is a lot of money to you and me, but its not to many people.

Not very many.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:31 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Back in pdx I shared a 5-bedroom house (bonus: it was a prohibition-era speakeasy) which was 1500 per month. The rent was broken down by bedroom, and my girlfriend and I split the 300 for our room. So I was paying 150 a month for over two years. The house was walking distance from downtown which, unlike LA, wasn't a bad thing.

I like to watch the anguish in people's faces in LA when I tell them I was paying 150 a month.
posted by mullingitover at 3:32 PM on September 14, 2007


$3800 for a 3-bedroom? Who exactly is making the kind of income to afford that for housing, besides executives and engineers?

In NYC, studio apartments in some neighborhoods go for more than that.

I actually just got a notice from the real estate broker that handles my building that a 532 sq. ft. studio in a new building in my neighborhood (Upper West Side) they're handling is selling for more than $750,000.
posted by Poolio at 3:33 PM on September 14, 2007


2sheets writes "I share a good size house with a yard and a hot tub and pay less than 1/2 that."

According to Google Maps, you live on a street corner in a shipyard.
posted by Bugbread at 3:36 PM on September 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


I have a suspicion that real estate agents are looking at the average rent, realizing that half of their properties are renting for below average, and telling the owners of the below-average half that they can and should jack the rent up.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:39 PM on September 14, 2007


2sheets writes "I share a good size house with a yard and a hot tub and pay less than 1/2 that."

According to Google Maps, you live on a street corner in a shipyard.
posted by Bugbread at 3:47 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, computer was actin' goofy.
posted by Bugbread at 3:59 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


To quote John Scalzi who I saw at Books and Co, this is paraphrasing:, "for the kind of money I'd pay for one of those apartments in California, I can live like a king, on 5 acres of land, in Ohio."

Granted, you'd still be in Ohio. It's not a bad place to raise a family, and the 2500 dollars a month you save on rent could go to other, more useful things.
posted by chlorus at 4:17 PM on September 14, 2007


How's the surfing in Ohio? Also, can you get good Vietnamese food?
posted by small_ruminant at 4:21 PM on September 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't understand people who say things like "I live in a much bigger place for less money!"

Sure, that's true as far as it goes. But the location is completely different and, for many people, far less desirable. I like being able to walk to all sorts of neat little shops, cafes, and restaurants. I'd rather live in a smaller place and be able to do a lot of world class activities without a car than have a bigger, cheaper place and have to drive everywhere and kill the environment, etc.
posted by Justinian at 4:21 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah I moved from a $1250 3 BR/3BA house with a lawn, full basement, nice porch, etc to a $1660 1 BR when I came to the city. Only conceivably affordable because there's more than one person involved. One day when I can telecommute by reading radiology from email, then I can have my fucking farm.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:24 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't have any meaningful business in places like Ohio. I'd make maybe a quarter as much. There would be no point.

I mean fuck. If our goal is more "disposable" income and a "bigger" lifestyle why not liquidate, take all the cash and move to a REAL metropolitan center in the developing world, like Buenos Aires or someplace. Live like a king.

Or get like SCARFACE big and move to a more rural ranching area and hire a couple dozen goons with AK47s and really throw your weight around.

The fact is we all already live like Kings. Why push it. Why move somewhere "cheaper" and then drive up the cost of living for yet another group of locals.
posted by tkchrist at 4:29 PM on September 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


@mullingitover

I like to watch the anguish in people's faces in LA when I tell them I was paying 150 a month.

Was it something like the anguish on your face when you first moved to LA? :)
posted by strontiumdog at 4:29 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Justinian writes "I don't understand people who say things like 'I live in a much bigger place for less money!'"

I understand them. I personally disagree, but what they say makes sense to me.

What doesn't make sense to me is when people say "Why would you want to live in X? Sure, you have A, B, and C there, but it's so expensive!" They ask the question, and then immediately answer it themselves.
posted by Bugbread at 4:31 PM on September 14, 2007


It's those gosh darned artsy homosexual Jews and their blasted gentrification again!

Sigh. San Fransisco, like pretty damn well everywhere else, was a crappy town, and then a nice town, and then a crappy town. Now it's a nice town again. Maybe too nice.

And?
posted by Reggie Digest at 4:34 PM on September 14, 2007


@small_ruminant

Yes. Yes, you can.

Google "vietnamese food Ohio"

Google "surfing Ohio"
posted by strontiumdog at 4:36 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


P.S. Heatmaps are pretty cool.
posted by Reggie Digest at 4:36 PM on September 14, 2007


hodyoaten, 2sheets: Read a few pages of the Curbed SF blog to get an idea of normal rents and property costs in this city.
posted by junesix at 4:42 PM on September 14, 2007


An increase? Huh? But I thought the Housing Bubble was bursting...or is this just the calm before the storm for SF?

I so don't understand economics.
posted by zardoz at 4:59 PM on September 14, 2007


These are rents posted on craigslist.

If something is too high, it may need to be posted many times. If it's too low it will only be posted once.

The trend is probably still meaningful but the absolute numbers will be off; the median rent asked for on craigslist will be higher than the median rent paid for on newly signed leases.
posted by aubilenon at 5:00 PM on September 14, 2007


Well, if we are going to play these game: Why live crowded in San Francisco? You can pay $300 USD a month for a 4 bedroom log cabin, with laundry and cleaning service included, a few thousand acres of pristine rainforest for a backyard, within walking distance to a river and waterfall, and exclusive access to unexplored Mayan ruins in Lacanj√°, Chiapas.

If you want to cut short your 2,000+ commute to your office in downtown San Francisco, you might get a job cooking and cleaning for tourist, making up to $10 USD a day, plus tips.
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:00 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe, since fewer people are buying houses now, they're renting, and pushing up the rent.

It looks like SF rent is higher than London, which surprises me.
posted by Flashman at 5:08 PM on September 14, 2007


For the haters: I don't think it's paying for the privilege of the city that bothers us; it's who we pay. That someone is making (or made) an outrageous sum from the land under our feet. I'm not geolibertarian, but land-as-commodity is so obviously broken.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:13 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


How so? Do you have some better way of deciding who gets desirable land besides who thinks it is worth paying for?

Drawing straws, maybe?
posted by Justinian at 5:44 PM on September 14, 2007


Maybe, since fewer people are buying houses now, they're renting, and pushing up the rent.

This is at least part of it. The last guy who moved into my building is a dentist(!) who told the manager he couldn't afford to buy in the City. I've been living here for 8 years and am paying approximately half what he's paying.
posted by trip and a half at 5:47 PM on September 14, 2007


I live in LA. For what I pay for our three-bedroom house, I could have a damn mansion in lots of places in the country; trouble is, in those areas I couldn't make the kind of money I make here. If I lived in those areas, I couldn't afford more house than I can afford here -- the income and the outgo would stay essentially the same relative to one another, even though the total amount of cash flowing is drastically different.

So why stay? Some costs are the same (or nearly so) no matter where you live; cars, appliances, food, clothes, medical care, and so on. So living here gives me more money for those types of goods. Also, there are lots of amenities here that I can't get in those other places.

So why go? Sometimes I think about leaving, because I'd love to live somewhere that's more attractive, where my front yard would have more trees and people wouldn't shout so much; where people gather on streetcorners on the 4th of July with nobody afraid they'll get shot; where I can walk my dogs off-leash without fear of them getting hit by a car.

It's always a trade-off, right? In my case, the amenities and more cash for fixed-cost goods offsets the environment and the people, and for some it would be otherwise. Housing costs and income tend to stay the same, with a few exceptions -- and if you find yourself in one of those exception cases, you go!

In the case of SF, you can make a living and barely pay your rent here, or lots of other places, but if you do it in an industry where you might strike gold -- heck, better SF than somewhere that gold can't be struck!

That's why being a movie star is awesome. If you make it, you get to keep on collecting the kind of money that movie stars collect, but you can live anywhere in the world (because you'll go on-set for weeks at a time, so your home location isn't very important.) Make $1 million in a film, then go home to spend it in a place where $500,000 buys you the house that $10 million buys you in LA or NY.

note to self: learn to act
posted by davejay at 5:56 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


FWIW, here's what I think explains it.

Most places in SF are purchased as investment properties. That means the sum of the rents should be able to cover the mortgage. When the rents can't cover the mortgages, that's a sure sign that the housing market is inflated and is due for a correction.

BUT -- given that the housing market has become nearly impossible to enter without taking out insane loans, even for your average engineer, you now have a pool of would-be home buyers who are suddenly willing to rent in order to stay close to their jobs, lifestyles, etc. While the sum total of their rents may not quite meet the sum total of mortgage payments, it's going to help close gap.
posted by treepour at 7:39 PM on September 14, 2007


This is nothing compared to the wild rent fluctuations of the dot com days.

As someone who recently moved from San Francisco to New York, and as someone who learned three months ago just how easy I had it in San Francisco (although I was able to find a Brooklyn apartment in about three days), I'm not sure if Craig's List is such a reliable indicator -- in large part because there are more conduits for finding affordable housing in San Francisco that don't even involve the Internet! In San Francisco, you don't have to contend with New York's oppressive broker's system (which I sidestepped), much less your lease automatically ending after a year and the tenant then having to renegotiate it (with an automatic rent increase) with a landlord. Most San Francisco leases automatically shift to month-to-month and often continue with the rent you started out with, unless the landlord wants to renegotiate the rent at the allowable 1.5% limit.

And unlike New York, you're also more likely to see "FOR RENT" signs listed on the outside of apartments in San Francisco. These are often unlisted on Craig's List or any apartment search site. The landlord figures that, if he's in a hot neighborhood, someone will see the sign and he'll end up filling the apartment. Of course, you have to be quick and tenacious about it. But then that goes without saying in any housing scenario. If you walk through a neighborhood you want to live in with a notepad and a cell phone, it's pretty easy to see a considerable number of places in a short period of time.

This was precisely the technique I used to obtain a railroad-style studio, with a layout that permitted me to store all of my considerable arsenal of books without cluttering the place, which I regrettably had to give up, in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for $800 a few years ago. (Ironically, it was between the Haight and the Mission, both at the same price with roughly the same square footage. And I ended up going with the benign stoner landlords over the martinet-minded Mission landlady.)

Point being: if you want to live affordably in San Francisco, then there is nothing stopping you from doing this except yourself.

Sure, there are landlords out there who want to charge exorbitant rents for hovels. But if you look hard enough, you'll also find plenty of landlords who are more equitable about this business. Of course, sometimes, you have to see a lot of crappy flats to get to the good deals. But that's no different from finding the right woman or finding the right job.
posted by ed at 8:55 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I live in a nice mid-rise building (it also has a 24 hr door man, gym, pool, etc) in Soma, SF. I pay ~$4300/mo for a 1 bed /1.5 bath and it's maybe 800-900 sq ft + plus a underground parking spot I was assuming I was paying quite a premium because of a short lease duration (6 months).

Anyway, I saw an ad for an apt 2 bed / 2 ba place in the same complex on a higher floor, with a tandem parking spot for $5600/mo on craigslist. I decide this is a worthwhile thing to explore as my lease is almost up. I throw my hat in the ring, the apt. owner said that inside of 6 hours on CL he had 3 people wanting it that could all afford it, and took the ad down.

However, if you ask me the real story of insane sq. footage prices is parking. A deeded parking spot is going for $75k+ in this complex. If you buy an apt in this building you are paying $1000-1200/sq.ft, buy a parking spot and you are paying $600 sq.ft for unfinished concrete, and I'm seeing them rent anywhere from $250-400/mo.
posted by ill3 at 9:02 PM on September 14, 2007


Hey thanks for all the advice about San Francisco, I've lived in the area for over 10 years. I have live in San Francisco and currently live in the East Bay, so I'm not clueless about the rent situation, but don't let that stop you from brushing it off.
Go ahead and rent that house for $3800, suckers.
And do you think you can actually find where I live from my metafilter profile?
posted by 2sheets at 9:38 PM on September 14, 2007


Stick and move, 2sheets! Stick and move!
posted by fleacircus at 12:59 AM on September 15, 2007


2sheets : "And do you think you can actually find where I live from my metafilter profile?"

Well, considering I doubt you live on a street corner, no, I don't think I can actually find where you live.

What an odd question.
posted by Bugbread at 5:59 AM on September 15, 2007


Yes. Yes, you can.

Google "vietnamese food Ohio"


Nah, Louisville has the good Vietnamese food. Over near Iroquois Parkway there's a large community (or there was a few years ago). Cincinnati has good Cambodian, though. And race riots.

San Francisco is far from perfect, but it's an awfully nice place to live. Yes, you pay a premium, but for (in my order of priority): music, nice tolerant people, art, culture, cute (and smart) girls , events, community, weather (summers ain't that bad), variety of employment, ... and I can't not mention the bike lanes. :)

I'm originally from Louisville (born in suburban Detroit; St. Clair Shores), and I hate it when people call the area "the flyover states," because I love visiting all over the Midwest (especially if I can go to Cedar Point or King's Island).

However, I'd never live there again. No offense, but, it's just a different sort of culture. More religion, less sex, beauty pageants, less progressive politics ... and I don't like the culture (art, music, fashion, food) nearly as much. How much is that worth? Too subjective to even bother answering.

That said, median rent up $300 in 3 months?!?! Damn. I suppose it's a logical effect of the housing sales crash...

I've been paying about $415-450 in rent from 1997 (multiple roommates) til a few years ago when I moved in with my gf at ~$750 to split a 4-room 1BR off 19th St. ... I feel quite lucky all of a sudden.

I saw this app in on SFGate on Friday. Very cool.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:24 PM on September 15, 2007


do you think you can actually find where I live from my metafilter profile?

In between 2nd and 4th St. on Cedar St. in Berkeley? (How close do we have to get to win?)

I have a good friend who lives just a few blocks over on Camelia St. Hello, neighbor!

Unless you're lying about your location. Then I take the "neighbor" part back. :|
posted by mrgrimm at 5:27 PM on September 15, 2007


$4,300 ... $5,600 ... wow. I've always thought that those lame SOMA high rises were OK b/c they kept rents down around the actual neighborhoods.

Now I'm kinda pissed I'm losing my view of the Bay Bridge to that ridiculously tall high-rise.

Oh well. I still cannot complain much. ... Yet.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:37 PM on September 15, 2007


However, if you ask me the real story of insane sq. footage prices is parking.

In my SF neighborhood, where street parking is fairly easy to find, garages have the absolute best price-per-square foot.

950 sq. ft 2 bedroom apartment: $1950
950 sq. ft garage+storage+workshop: $100
posted by rajbot at 12:17 AM on September 16, 2007


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