Real Estate Reporter

Get a move on: Renters look elsewhere

Zephyr President Randall Kostick (left) accepts his firm’s Brokerage of the Year award from Alf Nucifora, chairman and founder of The Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco. Courtesy Zephyr Real Estate


If someone loves living in San Francisco, with its live-and-let-live debauchery and out-of-control liberalism, what would be the most unlikely place for them to want to go? Salt Lake City, Utah, must rank high on any such list, yet the capital of conservative Mormonism is the most popular destination of renters who are looking to flee San Francisco, according to a survey by ApartmentList.

More significant than that is that 83 percent of San Francisco renters told the survey they intend to move to another city; that’s compared to a still-high 64 percent nationwide. Why do they want to move? The number-one reason is, no surprise, affordability, followed by jobs and their commute.

By the way, in 2013, The Washington Post’s Wonkblog reported that Americans were some of the most mobile people in the world. A couple years later, the wonks at reported that the average American “is expected to move 11.4 times” in their lifetime. And a number of real estate professionals say that people tend to sell their homes in five to seven years after buying them.

At last count, I’ve moved 23 times in my life, and I hate moving.


Pity us poor members of Generation X. We didn’t have the numbers to make the country bend to our will like Baby Boomers did. And Millennials are the darlings of the media and the marketing world. Now another indignity: Gen Xers are the least likely generation to get approved for rental contracts.

According to a new report from RentCafe, Generation X is the most indebted generation in the country and has an approval rate on rental applications of only 77.5 percent; that’s worse than everyone else, including Generation Z (91.8 percent), the Silent Generation is also above 90 percent, and Millennials and Baby Boomers are both well above 80 percent approval.

Generation X is still smarting from the Great Recession, which killed a lot of credit histories as they underwent foreclosures and job loss and accumulated high debts.

Well, at least we Gen Xers got Brad Pitt.


Who doesn’t love statistics? Sales of existing homes dropped 1.3 percent nationwide in July.

Want more? Coldwell Banker reports that San Francisco luxury home sales role by 6.8 percent and their median sales price was up 3 percent year-over-year. Here’s another one: The California Association of Realtors reports that the income you need to buy a house in this state has doubled since 2012. Has your income doubled in the past five years?

Not if you’re Gen X it hasn’t.


In another report from ApartmentList we learn that nationwide, homeownership rates for minorities who hold college degrees are still lower than rates for whites with only high school diplomas. And, just looking at race without going into education, here in San Francisco the homeownership rate for black households is less than half what it is for white or Asian households. According to the report, 54.7 percent of Asian households own their homes, as do 47.4 percent of white households, 31.2 percent of Hispanic households, and 21.7 percent of black households.


Zillow’s chief economist, Svenja Gudell, talked to the San Francisco Business Times about a new report from Zillow predicting the effects of a new recession, which many of the experts Zillow surveyed predicted would take place before 2020. SFBT reports “San Francisco and Miami are expected to be hit hard, in Gudell’s opinion, because the cities are enjoying so many foreign buyers of real estate. Some have described Miami’s condo boom in recent years as being driven by the need to build safe deposit boxes in the sky as people from around the world seek a good place to stash cash. Gudell said a geopolitical crisis could prompt nervous investors to put their money into U.S. Treasuries rather than real estate.”


San Francisco doesn’t just have a dearth of affordable housing, it also has a severe lack of family-size housing. So a new development in the Tenderloin is doubly welcome. The Eddy and Taylor Family Housing development broke ground in late August. When the affordable housing development is completed, it will have 113 units, more than 60 percent of which will be 2- and 3-bedroom homes.


Congratulations to Zephyr Real Estate, which picked up the 2017 Brokerage of the Year award from the Luxury Marketing Council’s 10th Annual Real Estate Agents Boot Camp. The council’s chairman, Alf Nucifora, said Zephyr was chosen because of its “industry reputation, market performance and growth, management style, business strategy, internal operations, agent hiring, onboarding, training and satisfaction, as well as innovative practices and community outreach.” He said that was confirmed “by competitors who were asked for candid feedback about the firm. This was an accolade well-deserved and long overdue.”

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