jake's mom


"The results surprise even this surreal estate connoisseur."

Argh. It looks we weren't alone in fighting this dreadfull rental market in San Francisco. From today's Chronicle: What's behind the current hot San Francisco rental market?

When Garner began culling the data a year ago, rents might have been high for the average graduate student but they were relatively stable. But in the past few months, the rents seem to have shot up. Average one-bedrooms, which hovered around $1,770 between September 2006 and April 2007, now go for about $1,980. And though two-bedroom prices dropped from about $2,600 in October 2006 to about $2,400 in February of 2007, they have since catapulted up to over $2,900. By the same token, three-bedrooms, which hit an annual bottom at around $2,950 in November 2006, rose to around $3,800 in August.

Sounds like a great city to raise a family, huh? Or not. Perhaps this partially explains why so many dogs have their day here.

There are an estimated 120,000 dogs in San Francisco, according to the city's Animal Care and Control department. There are anywhere from 108,000 to 113,000 children, according to U.S. census figures from 2000 and 2005.
Dogs dominate in part because it's becoming increasingly impossible for parents to afford to live in San Francisco -- 1,000 students disappear from the public schools each year. Also, a large percentage of the city's gay couples are choosing canines over kids, said Laura Cavaluzzo, San Francisco editor of urbanhound.com.

But, back to the rental market, I can't explain how terrible it was trying to go about landing an apartment this summer. It was amazing (and moreover, ridiculous) attending apartment showings only to have to compete with between 20-50 people treading through a tiny studio or "junior 1 bedroom." This article primarily speculates that the recent real estate fallout (i.e. interest rate increases and iffy variable-rate loans leading to home foreclosures) is what is fueling the increase, but I'm quite sure that there is a marked increase in demand with the summertime wave of recent college grads heading into the city--most people we ran into while on the hunt were 20-somethings looking for an affordable place (of which there are none). A rental guru from the city agrees:

The aggressive run-up in rentals, he says, is reflective of the robust Bay Area economy -- which has hired a new crop of young workers primarily looking for a studio or one-bedroom apartment.

On the plus side, I guess if we ever do move outside the city, life will seem a lot easier and a LOT more affordable. But for now, we're just thrilled to have a place.

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