Why is San Francisco so expensive?

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    Aug 12, 2012 7:02 AM GMT
    I am wondering why? What cause it to be that way?
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    Aug 12, 2012 7:07 AM GMT
    FjJl2.jpg
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    Aug 12, 2012 7:11 AM GMT
    Supply and demand. Population density.
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    Aug 12, 2012 8:34 AM GMT
    Also, gay-trification drives up real estate prices. icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 12, 2012 10:49 AM GMT
    Thanks guys
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    Aug 12, 2012 11:01 AM GMT
    One of the only cities of America I've been to that I loved, you can compare San Fran to Amsterdam or Munich, very few american cities are as pretty...
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    Aug 12, 2012 11:23 AM GMT
    Earth quakes. icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 12, 2012 11:40 AM GMT
    Darren22 saidOne of the only cities of America I've been to that I loved, you can compare San Fran to Amsterdam or Munich, very few american cities are as pretty...


    I think Portland OR is up there with San Francisco in terms of prettiness, albeit on a slightly smaller scale (and there is no sales tax in OR).
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    Aug 12, 2012 12:00 PM GMT
    San Francisco (The City) must be experienced to know why there is a price to living here. With that price comes full living in a city which is like a huge box of truffles.

    The San Francisco Bay Area Consolidated Statistical Area offers an economic, social, and environmental Eden with varied microclimate, diverse and rich culture, healthy youthful residents, and just plain coolness.

    Even riding the Muni is a rich, entertaining experience!

    Come! Come experience for yourself The City.

    You too may "Leave your Heart in San Francisco". Or, you may choose to stay.

    I've been here for 2 years now and I am grateful to God for every day which I am allowed to wake up and enjoy this succulent "oyster".
    6ed1e069.jpg

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    Aug 12, 2012 12:01 PM GMT
    High concentrations of gay men?
  • slimnmuscly

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    Aug 12, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    To add to yourname2000's points, another factor that makes SF especially expensive for newcomers is the way rent stabilization works out there -- as a seniority system for tenants. From Wikipedia:

    "With rent stabilization and vacancy de-control landlords are free to set prices of vacant units at market prices, but once rented to a tenant, subsequent increases are capped based on the rate of inflation or a regulated percentage."

    This is great if you're an old-timer who has lived in the same place for 20 years -- when I lived out there I met plenty of people who paid shockingly little money for Victorian flats they'd lived in forever -- but if you're either new to the city or you move while you live there, you're at the mercy of the landlords, who have every incentive to bleed you for all you're worth.

    And once you find a place, no matter how crappy, you have every incentive to stay there because moving -- even to a similarly crappy apartment -- would cause your monthly cost of living to skyrocket. Kind of like how people stay in jobs they hate for years because they'd lose their health insurance if they left.

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    Aug 12, 2012 12:46 PM GMT
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    Aug 12, 2012 12:59 PM GMT
    A higher population density = a more extensive public transit/infrastructure plan, more schools/police/fire departments per sq/mi - which usually correlates to higher property taxes and higher COL in general.

    Ex: the most densely populated cities and most expensive cities in the US are NYC/SF
    The most densely populated state is NJ, the state with the biggest tax burden.

    Supply and demand.
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    Aug 12, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
    JR_RJ saidHigh concentrations of gay men?



    that are single and whine ad nauseum that they cannot find a man.
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Aug 12, 2012 2:04 PM GMT
    What I find interesting about San Francisco is that the only notable expensive part is the property values.

    Otherwise, the cost of other items (public transportation, meals, drinks, fuel) is on par with other big USA cities, and in some cases a little less.

    I feel like menu prices are much higher in NYC and Chicago than San Francisco. Fuel in Chicago is absurd. My cab rides from LaGuardia to Midtown are a steal. When I'm at home in LA, I actually feel that life is pretty cheap...

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    Aug 12, 2012 2:13 PM GMT
    Because it is awful.
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    Aug 12, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    I feel like starting a why are american cities so ugly thread.... honestly not even New York seemed attractive to me compared to the beauty of London.

    I hear Seattle is attractive.
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    Aug 12, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidSan Francisco (The City) must be experienced to know why there is a price to living here. With that price comes full living in a city which is like a huge box of truffles.

    The San Francisco Bay Area Consolidated Statistical Area offers an economic, social, and environmental Eden with varied microclimate, diverse and rich culture, healthy youthful residents, and just plain coolness.

    Even riding the Muni is a rich, entertaining experience!

    Come! Come experience for yourself The City.

    You too may "Leave your Heart in San Francisco". Or, you may choose to stay.

    I've been here for 2 years now and I am grateful to God for every day which I am allowed to wake up and enjoy this succulent "oyster".

    Always said with such grace, however the ride on Muni? Yes, experience, albeit not always the height of your pleasing experiences! LOL
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    Aug 12, 2012 3:29 PM GMT
    SwimBIkeRun949 saidWhat I find interesting about San Francisco is that the only notable expensive part is the property values.
    Interesting that you mention this since most don't see that. You're correct, there are great deals in everything due to competition but housing remains insane. I was looking at renting a 2 BR place that hadn't been upgraded in 20 years and it was $3100 a month. This is pretty average. I decided to buy as it would end up being quite comparable after taxes.
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    Aug 12, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
    Because your American...

    San francisco is a wealthy city

    You're established american norm of wealth is several thousand square foot houses in the suburbs, luxury SUVs, walk in wardrobes and garages and storage units with the stuff you can't fit in your huge house.

    There's not the space for that in SFO and to a certain extent the people have moved there because they have rejected that culture.

    Most city dwelling upper and higher middle class people in European cities live pretty minimlistic they ride public transport, have small apartments in high cost districts, they spend their enhanced resources on more leisure, more art/culture, more fashion, have money in the bank.

    There are people I know with tiny apartments and two pairs of shoes... But they have a 20k painting on the wall of that apartment and close their business and spend two months travelling in the summer. Try and find that in Dallas or Phoenix...

    It's another manifestation of the Old Money vs. New Money concept
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    Aug 12, 2012 4:42 PM GMT
    I don't know what it is, but there's something magical about San Francisco. I moved here under not-so-great circumstances, but I can now say it's the only place I've lived where I feel sad leaving it and extremely happy when I return.

    My lifestyle here is totally different than anywhere I've lived. I ditched the car and now walk most places or ride public transit. I spend more of my weekends hiking in the mind-blowingly beautiful destinations literally minutes outside the city than I do going to bars. I've been to more live theater and concerts than I have in years. And I eat. Holy shit do I eat. There is no better restaurant scene in this country except perhaps in NYC (and even that I'd say is not better, just different).

    I can't imagine leaving and I haven't even lived here a year. My rent is astronomical, but it is SO worth it.
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    Aug 12, 2012 4:55 PM GMT
    Some Tail of Two Gay Cities
    (or, so much for relying on that gay factor)

    http://www.city-data.com/city/San-Francisco-California.html

    Estimated median household income in 2009: $70,770 (it was $55,221 in 2000)
    San Francisco: $70,770
    California: $58,931
    Estimated per capita income in 2009: $44,038

    Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $751,600 (it was $422,700 in 2000)
    San Francisco: $751,600
    California: $384,200

    Median gross rent in 2009: $1,363.


    Zillow Home Value Index
    $ 680,900
    Calculated 07/16/2012


    San Francisco Zillow Home Value Index
    app?service=chart&chartType=geo&mt=34&dt


    http://www.city-data.com/city/Wilton-Manors-Florida.html

    Estimated median household income in 2009: $47,076 (it was $38,366 in 2000)
    Wilton Manors: $47,076
    Florida: $44,736
    Estimated per capita income in 2009: $36,041

    Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $284,165 (it was $130,600 in 2000)
    Wilton Manors: $284,165
    Florida: $182,400

    Median gross rent in 2009: $1,015.


    Zillow Home Value Index
    $ 212,000
    Calculated 07/16/2012


    Wilton Manors Zillow Home Value Index
    app?service=chart&chartType=geo&mt=34&dt



    So in this comparison of two gay cities, we can see that gay doesn't have a whole lot to do with the value of anything other than being rejected by the majority of your community after turning 50. Now there's a draw to pull in a bunch of older, monied homeowners.

    So instead, let's look at income. How do prices stack against that?

    Clearly San Fran has better paying jobs but enough to justify the higher valued homes?

    While Wilton's household income is about 33% less than San Fran's, Wilton's per capita income is only 18% less than San Fran's, yet by current housing prices, San Fran's home values are 3.1 times the price.

    Well then, if it isn't the gay and if it isn't the income then perhaps it is the rents holding prices up. Yet by rent to price ratio, based on City-D's data, Wilton comes in at 15:1 while San Fran at 46:1. So it sure ain't the rents either which are holding up those San Fran prices. What could it be?

    Supply & demand?

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/california-one-million-vacant-homes-real-estate-vacant-financial-reasons-home-prices-will-decline-for-years-leverage-mortgage-debt/
    It might come as a surprise to many that California has 1.1 million vacant housing units. Back in 2000 California had 712,000 vacant units so over the decade we have increased the number of vacant units by 54 percent.

    Gays & income & rents & supply/demand, oh my!
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    Aug 12, 2012 5:01 PM GMT
    kscott6671 saidEarth quakes. icon_smile.gif


    He's right. Earthquakes are a great form of exercise.

    Plus, heavy regulations on new developments have kept buildings small, which has stagnated the housing supply, which has skyrocketed prices to compensate for the heavy demand.
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    Aug 12, 2012 5:36 PM GMT
    I wan to move to San Francisco formthe weather is just right, plus close to the ocean as I love water and breeze. I want to work in high tech company. Attend San Francisco State University for computer engineering in fall 2013 for they are not accepting anyone for spring. I want get away and be more comfortable in my skin for someone that accepted that am gay last year.
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    Aug 12, 2012 5:39 PM GMT
    Few years back whenever am not in california and I see the golden gates bridge is makes me miss over here ans want to come back. Maybe all along it wanted me to move to san francisco and tried to tell me your gay accept it and come home.icon_lol.gif