San Francisco rents are not rising


By Patrick   Follow   Thu, 19 Apr 2012, 6:18pm   5,108 views   35 comments
In Menlo Park CA 94025   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

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  1. Patrick


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    1   8:01pm Thu 19 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    BTW, you can generate these graphs for any city you want, here:

    http://patrick.net/housing/graphs.php

    It's Craigslist data.

  2. dublin hillz


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    2   9:14am Fri 20 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    They may not be rising, but to pay close to $3,000 a month for rent plain sucks.

  3. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    3   11:19am Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    dublin hillz says

    They may not be rising, but to pay close to $3,000 a month for rent plain sucks.

    Comparing 3k/mth to buying at 1mil is an easy decision if you don't buy into house price appreciation.

  4. Patrick


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    4   11:37am Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    SFace says

    Craigslist data again?

    What is the mix of shared apartments vs. Condo vs. Sfh?

    Yup. It's everything on Craigslist. In aggregate, the mix does not change.

    So rents in SF really are flat overall.

  5. Patrick


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    5   12:24pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    What is "dead space"?

  6. dunnross


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    6   12:31pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    What is "dead space"?

    It's the space between SFAce's ears.

  7. tatupu70


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    7   12:33pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick--

    He's saying to redraw the y axis in the graph and zoom in on 2500 - 3000. Any graph looks flat if you zoom out too far...

  8. bubblesitter


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    8   12:51pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Comparing 3k/mth to buying at 1mil is an easy decision if you don't buy into house price appreciation.

    I'll pay 3K month rent rather then putting 200K down and taking out 800K mortgage. As always I say, DO YOUR MATH.

  9. Patrick


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    9   1:44pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    tatupu70 says

    He's saying to redraw the y axis in the graph and zoom in on 2500 - 3000. Any graph looks flat if you zoom out too far...

    The one lesson I learned from "How To Lie With Statistics" is never to do that. Quote from p. 62 of the 39th printing:

    (Basing a graph at zero) is very well if all you want to do is convey information. But suppose you wish to win an argument, shock a reader, move him into action, sell him something. For that, this chart lacks schmaltz. Chop off the bottom.

    Now that's more like it. ... It is the same graph. Nothing has been falsified -- except the impression that it gives. ... Now that you have practiced to deceive, why stop with truncating? You have a further trick available ... Simply change the proportion...

    Anyway, it goes on about how to make the graph as deceptive as possible. I don't want to deceive at all, so I do the honest thing and base the graph at zero.

  10. justwantaniceplacetostay


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    10   1:47pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    from my personal experience in some popular places that are livable south bay rents are definitely up since 2009. Average 2br used to be 1700 now its 2400. 3 brs are close to 3000 they used to be 2400.

    still prefer to rent though..

  11. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    11   1:51pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Amazing. First people try to throw away the data. Then they complain about how it is represented, then they start throwing punches at the defenders. All that negative energy, rather than just taking the time to readjust their misconceptions about the market. "Rents are on fire! They are going up all over the BA! Renting now is crazy". You people are borderline insane. I've seen kids do better at realizing they are wrong. These are kids from Cupertino as well. :)

  12. justme


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    12   2:09pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Right on, Patrick.

    Patrick says

    I don't want to deceive at all, so I do the honest thing and base the graph at zero.

    I think however that the graphs would be easier to read if they were more quadratic (had a more even aspect ratio). Maybe even some grid lines that go all across instead of just tick marks. I dunno, just an idea.

  13. tatupu70


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    13   2:32pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Patrick says

    Anyway, it goes on about how to make the graph as deceptive as possible. I don't want to deceive at all, so I do the honest thing and base the graph at zero.

    Well, I'd argue that you are deceiving with the y axis as it is.. You should make the span of the y axis as small as is needed to illustrate the magnitude of change you are trying to show. If you want to be able to show a 10% change, you need to scale the y axis so a 10% change is visible.

    How about this--what is the 1st point for rent and the last point?
    If they are the same, then you are correct, that rents haven't risen.

  14. Patrick


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    14   2:44pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    justme says

    Maybe even some grid lines that go all across instead of just tick marks.

    Greyed-out grid lines are a good idea, but don't know how to do that in gnuplot. Got any example code?

    tatupu70 says

    You should make the span of the y axis as small as is needed to illustrate the magnitude of change you are trying to show.

    The only honest graph shows the entire scale so you can clearly see the magnitude of any change in relation to the entire scale. Anything else is spin and marketing.

    I didn't zoom anything out. Every graph on my site is always from zero, since I don't want to "lie with statistics" as the book so nicely explains.

    Any significant percentage change will be clearly visible on an honest graph starting from zero.

  15. tatupu70


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    15   2:47pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Patrick says

    The only honest graph shows the entire scale so you can clearly see the magnitude of any change in relation to the entire scale. Anything else is spin and marketing.
    I didn't zoom anything out. Every graph on my site is always from zero, since I don't want to "lie with statistics" as the book so nicely explains.

    Zooming in to adequately show the magnitude of change isn't deceiving. It's using the graph to serve the purpose. The graph you posted is pretty much useless because it can't show what it's intended to show.

    You can't even see a 10% rise. I really think it's more deceiving as it is...

    Do you have the first and last points?

  16. Patrick


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    16   3:07pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I could get the first and last points, but why choose those? Because they seem to show a slight rise? Why not pick the peak around October and then the latest point?

    What I'm trying to say is that arbitrary selection of two points to can always be done to spin things, and you see that the initial point I have is a bit lower than the latest point. So you might seize on that and say, look, these two points I choose prove my point, rents are rising. But obviously they are not, overall. They are fluctuating a bit. Believe your eyes.

  17. Patrick


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    17   3:10pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    orbitron says

    I guess that change in debt isn't significant either...

    The percentage change will be clearly visible if and only if you graph from zero. You can always zoom in arbitraily far to make an insignificant change look huge, but that's a kind of lying.

    If you can't see a change in the national debt on a graph starting from zero, how significant could that change really be?

  18. tatupu70


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    18   3:14pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Patrick says

    I could get the first and last points, but why choose those? Because they seem to show a slight rise? Why not pick the peak around October and then the latest point?

    Well, if you are trying to determine if rents have risen over the past year, then the starting and ending points are pretty important.

    Futher, if the points are significantly different (say 10%), then it shows your graph is deceiving. And the book's practice of starting every graph at zero is simplistic at best.

  19. Patrick


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    19   3:40pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    orbitron says

    How about you make the Y size of your graph 3x as large and the X size 1/2 as large as what you have above and let us compare the two? They would both still start at zero. Can you please try this?

    Wouldn't fit nicely on http://patrick.net/housing/graphs.php?uaddr=san+francisco%2C+ca anymore.

    But wait a few minutes and I'll make the data available to Patrick.net Premium members.

  20. tatupu70


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    20   3:47pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    How about this--can you do a best fit? The equation would tell you if rents were rising or not.

  21. bmwman91


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    21   4:05pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick, shoot me the raw data. We can determine if there is a STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT change in rents over the time span given in the OP. If you have data from a few years ago to add in, that would be cool too.

    In short, I'd fit a line to the rents, add a confidence interval to the fit, and then see if the mean rent falls within that CI. If the mean lies within the CI bands, then there is no statistically significant change (it's just noise).

  22. bmwman91


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    22   4:06pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    tatupu70 says

    How about this--can you do a best fit? The equation would tell you if rents were rising or not.

    A fit line doesn't necessarily tell you anything. If the R^2 value is really close to 1, then it is a good indicator that the fit line correlates to some underlying trend. You really want a confidence interval for the line though (95%).

  23. Patrick


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    23   4:35pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    OK, the data is now available via the link under each graph on the graphing page:

    http://patrick.net/housing/graphs.php

    The only catch is that you have to be subscribed to Patrick.net Premium. You don't have to pay anything for that, just write a short review of some property in the Open House Reviews forum and you automatically get a free week.

  24. curious2


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    24   6:05pm Sat 21 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    [...]

  25. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    25   4:17pm Sun 22 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    curious2 says

    The large empty space (dead space)

    Hey it is one things to call SFace's brain area "dead space", but saying it is "large empty space" is just insulting. ;)

  26. curious2


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    26   12:47pm Mon 23 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    [...]

  27. justme


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    27   6:50pm Wed 25 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick,

    CR is repeating the SF Chronicle propaganda that rents in SF are rising.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/04/san-francisco-rents-on-tear.html

    You should have a word with him.

  28. citizen jpp


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    28   7:13pm Wed 25 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Nice trend line for Ontario CA.

  29. thomas.wong1986


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    29   7:19pm Wed 25 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    justme says

    You should have a word with him.

    What landlords do and how business reacts to this are often found going in opposite directions. The word would be "business-killer". We dont have the fundemental basis for such a move.

    We do have lots of propaganda regards to Twitter doing business, but not even when Bank of America was in SF didnt have such an influence on rents.

  30. Patrick


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    30   5:09pm Fri 27 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    justme says

    Patrick,

    CR is repeating the SF Chronicle propaganda that rents in SF are rising.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/04/san-francisco-rents-on-tear.html

    You should have a word with him.

    Thanks! Finally mentioned it to him, here:

    http://www.hoocoodanode.org/node/15727

  31. Daytona


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    31   11:16am Wed 2 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    According to Avalon Bay, rents are rising around 7-8% YOY in NorCal.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/533781-avalonbay-communities-ceo-discusses-q1-2012-results-earnings-call-transcript

    "renters should have the capacity to pay higher rents over the next 2 to 3 years. In fact, Witten Advisers estimates that nationally, apartment market rents will grow faster than their long term trend by 150 basis points through 2014.

    During the first quarter, year-over-year rental rate performance in our portfolio accelerated from Q4, reflecting the pickup in economic and job growth in late 2011 and early 2012. The average rent change improved by 100 to 150 basis points from Q4, averaging over 4.5% in Q1, with renewals up by 6% to 6.5% and new move-ins by 2% to 3%. Looking forward, these favorable trends should continue to Q2 as offers for renewal for the April to June period are up by 6% to 6.5%, and new move-ins in April are projected to be right around 4%. The West Coast should continue to outperform as offers for renewals are generally in the 7% to 8% range, while offers on the East Coast are in the 5% to 6% range."

  32. tr9500


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    32   11:27am Wed 2 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    This isn't "rent", this is "asking" price... please label your data accordingly...

  33. tr9500


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    33   11:30am Wed 2 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Also, please be mindful of your data sources. Not sure who 'avalon bay' is, but if they are broker/apartment owner/etc, they have strong vested interest in saying rents are rising.

  34. toothfairy


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    34   1:11pm Fri 11 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    maybe my eyes are bad but it looks like your graph is rising from 2800 to about 3100

    That's a 10% increase

  35. supersunken


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    35   7:22pm Sat 12 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    SF has rent control. It's more difficult for a landlord to kick out a renter not paying in SF then other counties. Remember, SF is it's own county.

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