San Francisco is currently suffering from a housing availability crisis. With low inventory available and an almost constant influx of newly hired employees looking to buy or rent, it is next to impossible to find a decently priced home in a good neighborhood. According to the city planning department only about 4,000 housing units have been added in the past three years, for roughly 10,000 new households, rent is up 17%, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight. The four main reasons for the current housing debacle are as follows:
1. Years of insufficient housing production coupled with a booming economy have finally caught up to the city
3. A democratic public process that gives everyone a voice
4. The city has a strong anti-growth culture
Mayor Lee explains, “We want more affordable housing, but too often we oppose or scale back the very projects that generate those funds”. San Francisco is one of the hottest cities to live in the country, yet we have not been expanding accordingly. The city added about 1,500 units each year over the past two decades. That compares with about 3,000 units annually in Seattle, which has similar topography and has also seen a technology boom.
What does this mean for Marin buyers and sellers? With little choices in the City good houses will be snapped up and prices will continue to rise. Demand seems to be outstripping availability everywhere. Accordingly, buyers and/or investors who may have originally been looking in the city for property will be pressured to look towards Marin. A steady stream of buyers to ramp up competition is all good news for housing in Marin.