Rents in San Francisco are through the roof, so apartments should be getting lots of upgrades to match those increased prices, right? According to new research from BuildZoom, a website that matches users with home improvement contractors, the exact opposite might be happening. When rents rise in a neighborhood in San Francisco, they are accompanied by a decrease in home improvements. To reach its conclusions, BuildZoom compared compared rent increases with building permit data in neighborhoods all over San Francisco and found that a 10 percent jump in rents in a zip code was accompanied by an average 9.7 percent drop in the number of home improvements in that zip code.
BuildZoom points to two reasons for this pattern, both based on how competitive the current rental market is. With renters lining up around the block for apartment showings, landlords have little incentive to renovate to attract new tenants. And the clamor for rental units also means that they stay vacant for shorter periods, reducing the odds that landlords will take the time to make upgrades.
The opposite is true for homeowners, who tend to increase home improvements as the value of their homes go up. So even if you're prepared to spend thousands for a few hundred square feet in San Francisco, don't expect to get luxe, newly renovated digs. As long as rents stay high, remodels will likely have to wait.
· Home Improvement Patterns in San Francisco Suggest a Growing Divide in the Living Standards of Owners and Renters [BuildZoom]
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