The San Francisco housing market doesn't have much for the middle class anymore. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, CC License
San Francisco, as a young, hip city with natural beauty nearby and Silicon Valley close enough to commute to, is expected to be expensive. In the past two years, however, with a recovering housing market and more employees at Facebook, Google, Twitter and the like choosing to live in San Francisco, the market has gone from expensive to insane.
A recent study on Pricenomics showed the brutal numbers of the San Francisco housing market. The median rent for an apartment in the Excelsior/Outer Mission neighborhood (on the city’s south end) is $1,400, and that is the lowest of any neighborhood in San Francisco. Anything even a little bit trendy is $2,000 and up in terms of median price of the neighborhood, and if you are looking at apartments in central San Francisco, the Mission/Castro/Haight-Ashbury neighborhoods, median apartments are $2,500-$2,700.
For every type of apartment—studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, etc.—the price has increased by $500 or more since June 2011.
A craigslist search for apartments $1,000 or less in San Francisco turns up a few options, but most of what turns up are more expensive apartments that didn’t list their price, posts that, for whatever reason have been flagged for removal, and sketchy looking rent-to-own schemes (one of the listings actually says “scheme”).
Oakland may save San Francisco from pricing out everyone who made it cool. The Brooklyn of the Bay Area is being rapidly developed, and provides a nearby landing spot that artists and recent grads can afford.
San Francisco is still legitimately very cool. To stay that way, the city may need to make sure that there is some space for lower income residents, and everyone would welcome improvements to the BART system (the Bay Area’s train system) to allow for easier cross-pollination with Oakland and Berkeley.