Michael Anderson recently wrote an article for Medium entitled “A guy just transcribed 30 years of for-rent ads. Here’s what it taught us about housing prices” in San Francisco. As its title implies, the article discusses trends in San Francisco’s housing and rental prices from the last fifty years by using the research of Eric Fischer.
Fischer discusses his methodology and more about his research here. He essentially sifted through old microfilm and photos of the San Francisco Chronicle in order to gather information about rent and housing costs in San Francisco prior to rent control introduced by the mayor in 1979.
Fischer found that rent has been going up by 6.6% every year (on average) in San Francisco since 1956. He was able to create several charts that visualize this and other factors in San Francisco’s housing costs. Fischer used a formula to create this chart by using three variables, which Anderson describes as: “1. The number of jobs located in San Francisco County. 2. The number of places in San Francisco County for people to live. 3. The total amount of money that is paid to everyone who works jobs in San Francisco County.”
Anderson discusses the implications of Fischer’s research and what it means for the future of San Francisco’s rental and housing markets as well as how other cities in the U.S. might avoid the situation San Francisco is in. Many of the ideas that Anderson proposes are similar to those found in Matthew Desmond’s Evicted.
Read the full article here.