And landlords are admitting that when possible, they’re raising rents way, way high .. units vacated by their previous inhabitants, and not covered by rent control, can be found listed for more than 40 percent of their previous prices.
But before you freak out and run screaming away to some other great American city, there are some lights in this dark tunnel, though they may not be immediately evident. Here’s a look at the bright side of our current rental chaos:
-Though it may not feel like it, there is a ceiling to how high rental prices can get. At a certain point, people will not be able to afford the rents that landlords are asking, and stability and hopefully a downturn will follow from there.
-Creative solutions to housing are being pushed through at City Hall due to the high prices. The recent condo conversation policy change, which we don’t pretend to understand but seems like it can only increase housing stock, is a good move. So is the city’s recognition of the AirBnB issue – rental apartments shouldn’t be hotels. That’s what hotels are for.
-Employers are recognizing that their employees are being affected by these changes. When a Zynga employee relocating from another city has to pay $3500 a month for a small apartment, her HR department is going to hear about it. Tech CEO’s need to get involved in the conversation about worker housing in the city, before it’s too late.
-There’s still housing available. There’s no such thing as a zero vacancy rate, thank goodness, so you can find a San Francisco apartment, it just might take some searching. Start with a high quality online listing service – like this one.