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  Edition # 135  
San Francisco, 09-11-2020


Figure [1]: There's a moving truck on every corner, lots of people are moving out of SF.

Michael For about six months now, rent and real estate prices have been declining rapidly in San Francisco. Reason seems to be that there's a mass exodus happening, with young affluent people fleeing the city. On almost every block, you can see moving trucks, and techies sheepishly loading in their $3,000 bikes, and off they go to mommy and daddy in Kentucky! Just by walking the neighborhood, you can peer into many empty homes, and every block has at least one house for sale. Also, if you're in the market for expensive yuppie crap, check out Craigslist for some real bargains!

Since most tech companies no longer require their employees to come to the office, and also because San Francisco's entertainment value has gone down to almost zero, with most restaurants closed and dance clubs shuttered for a whopping six months now, hipsters no longer see a reason to stay around. On top of that, quality of life has been declining rapidly lately, with homeless tent cities popping up in various neighborhoods, many small shops throwing the towel and going out of business for good, I mean you can't even get simple services like a hair cut anymore! Property and street crime has gone up by 100% within the last year, due to the dramatic increase of the homeless population and lack of police activity due to a "progressive" district attorney who refuses to prosecute property crime even for repeat offenders. Who in their right mind would pay astronomical amounts of rent to live in such a neglected place?

Figure [2]: San Francisco has lost its charm, and young people are moving out quickly.

Landlords are desparately trying to find new tenants for their properties, which is really hard, even with drastically reduced rent, because of complete lack of demand in the market with ample supply. Even in our building, there's three vacancies, all people in their twenties who have left the city to live someplace else. Oh, and those fools who have invested in real estate at astronomical prices are now facing financial hardships and cash flow problems, because mortgages still have to be paid off.

Figure [3]: Mostly young people are leaving San Francisco, often moving back in with their parents.

If this trend continues, the market will be flooded with cheap supply, and it's entirely possible that panic selling will start at some point if demand continues to decrease. Although, if you look at the current average home price in our expensive neighborhood, it's still around $2M, so there's still room for steep corrections until we get to a sustainable level again. Monitoring real estate brokers, you can sense their anxiety anticipating a crash, while they're reassuring their clients that price corrections will be only a few percentage points. I'd say: try 50 percent, every bubble is bound to burst at some point, and the San Francisco real estate bubble has been ripe for a while now. The market will fix even the most idiotic exhuberance at some point, that's one thing you can always rely on. Edit

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Latest update: 10-Jun-2022