In San Francisco Again – Real Estate Update & Jumpers!

9.10.09

I just read an interesting article outlining the improving situation for San Francisco renters. Rent prices have dropped 20% in 2009 due to layoffs, (43,000 jobs lost in a population of 800,000) a larger than average increase in constructed units last year, and the conversion of condo units to rental units. Read more here:

SFExaminer

In addition, according to the article, 2.8 million square feet of office space became available during the current recession knocking down office rent prices also. They also mention that median home prices in San Francisco are down year over year to June 2009 about 14%.

An interesting note – when I was researching Boston area real estate prices during the last big real estate correction (1988-1992) I noticed that prices barely moved down in the nice communities such as Brookline, MA. In other cities such as Somerville and Medford, MA,¬† prices were down 34% and 20+% respectively. I say this because even though I expected a drop, most people did not expect much of a drop in San Francisco real estate prices – including a few brokers I interviewed – since it is on the level of Brookline, MA in terms of location desirability. When the Millennium, a beautiful new development in SOMA slashed their prices, it was a real shocker to SF’ers.

On a different note but still on the topic of SF, I mentioned some time ago about plans to build a suicide net on the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent jumpers –

Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge - from visitingdc.com

I had thought it would cost $20 million. Apparently, it will cost $50 million, and surprise surprise, they don’t have the funding yet. They will likely erect this and people will find other ways to off themselves thereby wasting another $50M. If you like, read more about the statistics of the typical jumper (what 40 year old single white male?) here:

SFGATE – Jumpers

Until next time,

Chris Grande