That’s nearly double the average from just five years ago
The median price of a single-family home in San Francisco rose to yet another all-time high by quarter in Q1 of 2018, according to a report released Wednesday by Paragon Real Estate economist Patrick Carlisle, this time hitting $1.61 million.
If accurate, this figure means that the price of a San Francisco house has nearly doubled just since 2013 and soared more than 23.8 percent since Q1 of 2017, when Paragon calculated a median of $1.3 million.
For comparison, here’s how price year-over-year prices in the first quarter breakdown for the past five years:
- 2017: $1.3 million, down 0.76 percent
- 2016: $1.31 million, up 19 percent
- 2015: $1.1 million, up 13.28 percent
- 2014: $971,000, up 14.23 percent
- 2013: $850,000, up 27.8 percent
While this year-over-year spike is not the largest in recent memory, it’s still a disconcertingly big jump, and the ongoing pile-up of new all-time highs remains as flagrant as ever.
In fact, if you isolate the figures from February, the situation looks even more dire. But Carlisle cautions readers that focusing only on that short-term data is potentially misleading:
We are not enthusiastic about monthly median price movements since they tend to bounce around without great meaningfulness due to a number of factors and sales volumes are very low in the first 2 months of the year, but for what it is worth the SF median house price soared to a new high in February 2018 to $1,715,000. (100 sales across 70-odd neighborhoods, reported to MLS by 3/7/18—late reported sales may affect this price.)
Note that the report also records a median SF condo price of more than $1.17 million, up 4.5 percent year over year. Back in 2013 the price was about $850,000, but it’s risen by less than $100,000 since Q1 of 2015.
Carlisle cites all sales reported to MLS for the first three months of 2018. It should be noted that the data does not reflect homes sold in non-public deals off the open market.
The California Association of Realtors has not yet released its own estimates for the full first quarter, but CAR figures from January and February mirror Paragon’s data, recording a median single-family home price of $1.33 million and $1.73 million for those two months, respectively, in San Francisco County.
That’s roughly three times the statewide median during the same period and the highest for any California county except perhaps San Mateo, which registered a slightly higher average than SF in January but also a slightly lower price in February.
Since these sites do not include every home listed in the city right now, and since prices today don’t necessarily reflect those from the previous three months, those figures don’t necessarily compare to those in Q1 reports.
Those over 55 are the fastest growing segment of the rental market.
Over 2.4 million renters over 55 joined the rental market between 2009 and 2015
All age groups seem to prefer renting in the suburbs over the city.Many of us have an image of renters as young, single, twenty-somethings, getting their first place in the city. But according to new analysis of U.S. Census data, the demographic group driving the rental market nationwide is actually educated, empty-nest baby boomers who prefer to live in the suburbs.“Whether driven by a change in lifestyle, a consequence of the housing crash, or an inability to find affordable homes to downsize, senior households are embracing renting in droves,” according to the report from RentCafe.The apartment listing site examined Census data from 2009 and 2015 and found some fascinating trends: Renters over 55 increased by 28 percent in those six years (compared to only a 3 percent increase in renters 34 and younger); renters with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 23 percent (compared to only 1 percent with only a high school degree); and families with no children increased by 21 percent (compared to 14 percent for families with children in the household, and 10 percent for non-family renters).The increase in senior renters can be seen nationwide, as well as locally. In the San Francisco metro area, between 2009 and 2015, there was a 10 percent increase in renters under 34. In the same time period, the percentage of renters over 55 increased by 27 percent. That’s over 40,000 new senior renters in the area in only six years.RentCafe’s research also shows that renters young and old were being drawn to the suburbs more than the urban core. “In each of the categories of renters we analyzed, suburban areas were gaining renters faster than urban areas,” according to the report. This meant a 39 percent increase of seniors in suburban areas, nationwide, versus only a 21 precent increase of seniors in cities.“Now that the lure of apartment living has spread into the American suburb, renters who want to live in a walkable neighborhood and have a short commute to work can get what they’re looking for thanks to the emergence of the ‘suburban downtown’ and to a concept known as ‘transit-oriented development,’” said the report.In the Bay Area, these transit-oriented developments (the latest of which just broke ground in Oakland) are often located along BART and Caltrain lines and provide easy access into the city, more living space than urban offerings, as well as walkable retail, restaurants and other neighborhood amenities.“With such attractive (and often cheaper) housing alternatives right in their community, the decision to switch to renting has gotten much easier for suburban homeowners,” according to the report.
Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle
- Unlike service dogs, “emotional support animals” are an unregulated group.
- Some such animals have been causing serious problems on flights: peeing, defecating, and mauling passengers.
- There’s little scientific evidence about what emotional support animals really do for people.
- Airlines are cracking down on support animals and issuing tighter regulations.
WHAT IS AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL?There’s not really any regulation about what constitutes an emotional support pet, and people can buy their way into a designation pretty easily online for around $70.Researchers in California looked at more than a decade of records of registered “assistance” dogs and found that from 1999-2012 there was a huge uptick in the number of smaller dogs, older dogs, and dogs used for psychiatric and medical assistance in the state. Those researchers argued that their study revealed a growing trend of “misunderstanding” and “misuse” of support dogs.According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal must be trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, be it physical or psychiatric. Disabilities include things like being blind or deaf, using a wheelchair, relying on a dog to remind you to take meds, or having a dog around in case of an anxiety attack.Under federal law, only dogs and miniature horses weighing less than 100 pounds qualify for the “service animal” designation.These trained animals are on the job and allowed to accompany their humans anywhere that members of the general public can go (including businesses, hospitals, and just about anywhere that’s not a sterile operating room).But the law is very clear: “Service animals are working animals, not pets.” The ADA even spells out that “dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”The Fair Housing Act, however, is a bit more lenient: It says that US tenants have a right to keep “assistance animals,” including emotional support pets, in their homes even if a leaser has a strict no-pets policy.Therapy dogs are a third category of animal, and they’re trained to help calm patients down during therapy sessions, usually in clinical settings.
ANIMALS CAN HELP PEOPLE FEEL BETTER, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE TRAINEDPeople who train and certify dogs to work with patients are worried about the growing number of untrained pets flying around on planes.Alice Smith, a client services coordinator at the PAWS dog training center in Florida, told Business Insider that untrained pets are giving real service dogs a bad name.“There are people who just wanna be able to take their dogs with them everywhere, and they go online and buy a vest,” Smith said. She added that if owners don’t put in the six months to a year required to train an animal, the dog can end up barking and acting out in public.However, Smith believes dogs can be a huge help for people dealing with anxiety and depression. As a pet owner herself, she said she’s benefitted from having dogs around when she’s upset.“My dogs have just known it,” she said. “They would come over to me, and get close to me, and as soon as I would pet them, I would calm down.”Smith said there are likely many other people who’d benefit from having a furry, well-behaved friend nearby. In recent weeks, she said she’s fielded calls from students in Florida who are scared about getting on the bus after the recent school shooting and think a support dog might help. Other kids call the training center because they’re getting bullied and want an emotional support dog to help them get through the day safely. Dogs can also help guide their owners to exits in a panic, or just lean into a person to calm them down in a crowd.“They can feel that dog’s pressure, and know the dog’s there,” Smith said.But Younggren pointed out that some people are afraid of dogs or allergic to them. For those individuals, a flight alongside an emotional support pet could be an anxiety- or illness-provoking experience. It boils down to a simple, well-known problem, he said: “People who love dogs think everybody loves dogs.”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday the purchase of the McDonald’s on Haight Street for $15.5 million. (Courtesy Google Maps)San Francisco has reached a deal to purchase the blighted McDonald’s restaurant on Haight Street for $15.5 million and plans to turn the site into affordable housing, Board of Supervisors President London Breed said Tuesday.The McDonald’s site at Haight and Stanyan streets is a known public nuisance in the neighborhood and was the scene of a shooting in August. Breed said the purchase is an “incredibly favorable deal for this site” that is several million dollars below market-rate.“Our intent in purchasing the site is clear,” Breed said while introducing legislation to the Board of Supervisors that will allow San Francisco to move forward with the purchase. “We are going to build 100 percent affordable housing.”Breed is serving as acting mayor following the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee, who died early Tuesday after suffering a heart attack at a grocery store in Glen Park. Breed said the proposal was “the last piece of legislation we discussed when we met yesterday.”In 2015, McDonald’s agreed to increase security at the site and pay San Francisco $40,000 after City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatened to sue following hundreds of complaints over criminal activity at the restaurant.The restaurant had more calls for service to police than any other restaurant in the area at the time.Also on Tuesday, supervisors Katy Tang and Peskin introduced a charter amendment that would freeze the amount of funding going into voter-approved set-asides for specific needs during an economic downturn.
The Urban Institute (UI), a think tank created by then President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 to address American quality of life, released an interactive map illustrating which U.S. counties’ residents carry the most personal debt.
It turns out San Francisco is one of the least debt-ridden places in the country.
On average, 33 percent of U.S. households have some debt in collection, defined as “past-due credit lines that have been closed […] as well as unpaid bills reported to the credit bureaus that the creditor is attempting to collect” and extrapolated from “identified, consumer-level records from a major credit bureau.”
But in San Francisco, it’s a mere 16 percent, tied with Santa Clara County. That’s not the lowest in the country—a handful of places manage to dip down to single digits. But it’s one of the lowest rates in California, bested only by wealthy Marin County, which UI estimates at a rate of just 15 percent.
As CityLab notes, the map shows most of the U.S. is “under crushing debt,” but San Francisco is comparably sound—at least by these specific standards.
This isn’t to say San Franciscans are debt-free entirely. When student loan refinancing site LendEDU ranked American cities by credit card debt in 2015, San Francisco had the second highest debt level in the state. UI’s “in collections” standard simply measures those places where debt hits the hardest.
For contrast’s perspective, of California’s 58 counties, only two places—Placer County and San Mateo County—manages to fall below 20 percent on the UI metric.It’s not hard to figure out why SF is beating the spread; U.S. Census estimates reveal median income in the city rises year after year.
Still, seeing precisely how much wealth Californians have now concentrated in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, especially within in the last five years, becomes shocking while viewed in these terms.
Here are the debt rates across California, from the slight to the most grave. Note that two counties, Sierra and Alpine, didn’t yield enough data to place:
- Marin: 15 percent
- San Francisco: 16 percent
- San Jose: 16 percent
- San Mateo: 17 percent
- Placer: 19 percent
- Santa Cruz: 20 percent
- Yolo: 21 percent
- Sonoma: 23 percent
- Napa: 23 percent
- Alameda: 23 percent
- Nevada: 23 percent
- San Luis Obispo: 23 percent
- El Dorado: 24 percent
- Orange: 25 percent
- Contra Costa: 25 percent
- Amador: 25 percent
- Contra Costa: 25 percent
- Plumas: 26 percent
- Mono: 26 percent
- Mariposa: 27 percent
- Humboldt: 28 percent
- Santa Barbera: 28 percent
- Ventura: 28 percent
- San Diego: 28 percent
- Calaveras: 29 percent
- Tuolumne: 29 percent
- Inyo: 29 percent
- Sikiyou: 30 percent
- Modoc: 30 percent
- Los Angeles: 31 percent
- Sacramento: 31 percent
- Butte: 31 percent
- Mendocino: 31 percent
- Trinity: 31 percent
- San Benito: 32 percent
- Colusa: 32 percent
- Monterey: 33 percent
- Solano: 33 percent
- Sutter: 33 percent
- Glenn: 33 percent
- Shasta: 33 precent
- Stanislaus: 35 percent
- Madera: 35 percent
- Lassen: 36 percent
- Imperial: 36 percent
- Riverside: 37 percent
- San Joaquin: 37 percent
- Del Norte: 38 percent
- Tehema: 39 percent
- San Bernadino: 40 percent
- Merced: 40 percent
- Fresno: 42 percent
- Tulare: 42 percent
- Lake: 42 percent
- Yuba: 43 percent
- Kern: 43 percent
- Kings: 44 percent