Cheap rent: A thing of the past

photo by Trenttsd via creative commons

Surfed Craigslist for an apartment lately? Then you don’t need us to tell you that rent in San Francisco is too damn high. But what are the broader implications of this becoming a city where median asking rent is above $3,000?

Here’s an example. Today, District 11 Sup. John Avalos shared a story with the Guardian about his arrival to San Francisco in 1989. He had $1,000 to his name, enough to cover rent and a security deposit. He landed a job that paid just $8 an hour, but that was no big deal, since he split the rent for his $675-per-month, two-bedroom apartment in the Haight with a friend.

Translate those 1989 figures to 2013 dollars, and the dramatic rent increases the city has experienced really come into focus. With inflation factored in, that same two-bedroom apartment would cost $1,253 per month today. Noticed any Craigslist ads for two-bedroom apartments in the Haight going for $1,253 lately? (If so, be careful. It's probably a scam.) Rents for such units hover closer to $4,000 these days.

Avalos joined his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors in highlighting issues of affordability at Tuesday's meeting. “San Francisco needs to do something specifically to measure how people, particularly those on the bottom rung, are getting by in San Francisco," he commented just prior to the vote for board presidency.

District 9 Sup. David Campos echoed this sentiment. "I want a city that works, but I want a city that works for everyone,” Campos said. “We have to work collectively to make sure that happens ... We have great wealth in the city, but many people are being pushed out."


Twitter tax break, and saving all those jobs and revenues for SF, has been a defining moment for the upgrading of that depressing, crime-ridden neighborhood.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 14, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

New condos everywhere yay!!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 12:07 am

Progressives hate that, of course.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2013 @ 7:42 am

SF hasn't build enough rentals units, flats, homes or any kind of housing. So many people want to live in the city, so many looking and wanting to buy. Living in the bay area has become really pricey.

Posted by Garrett on Jan. 16, 2013 @ 10:32 am

they want cheaper housing but they oppose every new development of housing.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 16, 2013 @ 10:56 am

Has Scott Weiner found the answer?

-Hong Kong architect turns shoebox apartment into 24 rooms -

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

spacious flats with views, storage space & updated appliances all at a rent-controlled price of around $1000 per month. These people are living in la-la land. No matter how many times you explain basic market principles to them they just don't get it. They think they're living in a 7x7 mile space where those rules have been suspended. Progressives have caused mass delusion in their followers.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

Market principles like federally subsidized mortgages and tax deductions?

Under market principles the nationalized mortgage market would shrink to the price levels of our grandparents and teachers and bus drivers could afford to buy in san francisco again.

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Not A Tax Break For The Middle Class

"The possibility that this deduction might go away has prompted the sort of dire warnings that might be reserved for news that the American flag will lose its stars and stripes: The housing market, finally recovering from a long decline, will plunge anew as values fall."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

Because those are the most expensive housing markets. If your argument is that without the deduction prices would fall and more people would be able to afford homes then make it - of course that argument basically calls for screwing over every current homeowner in the city who still has a mortgage on their home.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

Meaning "basic free market principles" don't apply to the Lucretia troll.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 4:09 pm
Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

Tacty queen.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

mortgage interest, and Toronto and London house prices are at record highs.

Buying real estate is still the way to get rich. Most UK millionaires made it thru property.

Posted by anon on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

Some here think you need to "explain basic market principles" to renters, who are too dumb to understand the most basic economics.

I would argue that those who were able to forgo home purchases and avoid the (ongoing) foreclosure crisis are not the ones who need to learn basic economics.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

Even the deadbeat homeowners you whine about probably lived mortgage-free for many months before they got kicked out, and so did better than you in your rent-controlled squalid hovel in the Mission.

Posted by anon on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

Unpleasant troll.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

Half of them anyway...

-Half of US Mortgages Are Effectively Underwater-

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

Ha ha ha ha this one.

My fav...from 65 million down to 20 million well done.

"AND THE RUMORS FLY LOWER Well, we did say "rumormongering" when we reported Trulia's announcement that 2845 Broadway had finally sold to tech celeb David Sachs for $34 million. Today's rumors, again per Trulia, are that according to tax records, the famed manse actually sold for $20 million. Definitely not a win for seller Peter Sperling then, estimated to have spent at least $52 million on the property...Mr. Sperling's people did some work on the house, but stopped for some reason and put it on the market for a staggering $65,000,000. "

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

"Even the deadbeat homeowners you whine about..."

Actually thinking more about the deadbeat banks right now.

The Government Lied When It Said It Only Bailed Out Healthy Banks: 12 of the 13 Big Banks Were Going Bust

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2013 @ 7:55 am

Inflation, yet the pay stays the same..

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2013 @ 9:00 am

If you don't add more value in 2013 over 2012, why should you be laid more?

And if someone else will do your job for less, why should you be paid at all?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2013 @ 9:24 am