Real Estate Reporter

City changing neighborhood by neighborhood

Look for another round of widespread media coverage of homelessness in San Francisco this summer.


The good folks at Zumper have released their Summer 2017 edition of their map showing rental rates across San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. Despite all of the talk — and we’ve covered it here in the Marina Times, too — of plateauing or even slightly declining rents, the numbers still look very good for landlords and very challenging for mid- or low-income tenants.

On the Northside, Pacific Heights and Russian Hill come in with a tie for the most expensive rents, as if that would shock anyone. Pac Heights renters pay a median rent of $3,600 for a one-bedroom unit. At that size, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to split the rent with very many roommates, unless they’re of the very cuddly kind.

But Pacific Heights isn’t the most expensive place to be a tenant in the city; Mission Dolores ($3,650) and South Beach ($3,720) were both higher.

Zumper does echo other reports by noting rents for one- and two-bedroom units have both declined more than 6 percent since last summer.


But others are saying similar things about falling rents. RentCafe reports as of May 2017, San Francisco leads the country in the size of its rent decreases. On a year-to-year basis, local rents dropped 3.3 percent. Manhattan — which RentCafe calls the most expensive market, with average rent of $4,094 a month compared to San Francisco’s $3,369 — declined 2.9 percent over that same time period.

San Francisco’s relatively high density has contributed to its housing shortage and price rises, but even less-dense areas such as San Jose (#10 on RentCafe’s list of priciest U.S. rental markets) and San Mateo (#4) feel the pain, with only minor (.2 percent in San Jose) or no decrease (San Mateo) in rents over the past year.


We weren’t aware that Rincon Hill was no longer a cool name. But recently we learned that the area has been renamed the East Cut. The new neighborhood name will cover South Beach, Rincon Hill, and a portion of the Transbay District.

Not everyone is thrilled. Jay Barmann wrote in SFist, “Next time you hear anyone say they live in the East Cut, just laugh at them and berate them. That may work to kill this thing.”


One of the criticisms of what housing construction there has been in the city is there is insufficient parking connected with the units, which makes more residents compete for a shrinking number of street parking spaces. So why did neighbors want less parking in a $400 million residential tower that got approved last month?


The big effort last year by media across the city — including the Marina Times — to highlight the city’s homelessness problem is being run again this month, but we expect less to come of it than last time. First, as you’ve noticed, the city’s homeless have not all been housed since all of the television, newspaper, magazine, online, and radio reports of the first go-around. Second, nobody seems to have come up with a sure-fire solution. The city is spending more on the problem — Mayor Ed Lee recently announced yet more money for the crusade — but take a walk up from the Powell BART station or through the Tenderloin, and you would need rose-colored glasses to think things have gotten better for the souls surviving on the streets.

And third: As one perhaps cynical critic noted, the first effort didn’t land a Pulitzer in the lap of the San Francisco Chronicle, which initiated the project. Perhaps the second time’s the charm.


Following the State Senate’s passage of his bill designed to speed up construction of new housing in California, Senator Scott Wiener stated, “Our housing shortage — and the rents, home prices, and displacement that come with it — is at a breaking point in our state. Young people aren’t able to afford to live in the communities where they grew up, and workers are being forced into back-breaking commutes because they can’t live near their jobs. This is bad for our economy, our environment, and our quality of life. Housing is no longer a city-by-city issue — we need a statewide approach.”


Local Zephyr real estate agent Tanya Dzhibrailova is moving up — specifically from number 158 to 120 on the Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends’ nationwide ranking of real estate professionals. “We congratulate Tanya, once again, for her achievements, dedication and determination to remain at the top of her game,” said Kevin Koerner, Zephyr sales manager in West Portal. “Her commitment to excellence is extraordinary.”

Koerner is probably getting sick of saying such things about her, because she has a list of designations and memberships and achievements a mile long.



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