Today would have been my brothers 71st birthday. I’m thinking of you today mate.
When we were in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, we couldn’t help but notice people sitting at desks in the street where you would normally see cars parked. And the extraordinary thing is that it is almost impossible to find a parking space in this incredibly crowded city. In San Francisco, people are paying $125 a week to work in a parking space called WePark. As you read this newsletter, keep in mind that the population of San Francisco is only 884.000 people.
Victor Pontis set up WePark and this highlights just how expensive and crowded San Francisco has become. WePark pays for the parking space, which doubles as an office using free nearby WiFi or mobile-phone hot spots. Victor set up WePark on April 25 near San Francisco City Hall after being inspired by Twitter. Somebody posted a photo of a truck that someone set up with bike parking on it and somebody else mentioned ‘What if you could work out of a parking spot?’ Victor thought it was a pretty funny, but interesting idea.
He promoted the idea and about 30 people showed up the first day. San Francisco is an extremely expensive real estate market. Using metered street parking spaces is now really a happening thing. These parking spaces are now increasingly being used for trendy street side restaurant seating, extra sidewalk space, bike-share stations and art exhibitions.
Parking spaces are cheap compared to all of the other real estate in San Francisco where the median price of listed homes nears $1.3 million and the median rent is $3,300 for a two bedroom apartment, according to Zillow. That’s overwhelmingly more than the national medians of $285,000 and $1,675, respectively.
Homes are so expensive that only 12% of households can afford them, with nearly 60% of tech employees unable to afford them, Business Insider previously reported. The pricey real-estate market is even causing some residents to delay having kids, decide to live in their cars, or leave the city altogether.
Tech giants have crowded the city with more people and have, in part, fueled the soaring real-estate prices. San Francisco also deals with a crowded homeless population of 7,500. Consider these facts:
- The Bay Area is home to more wealthy people than any other of the most populous US metro areas. The median household income in San Francisco brings in $98,710— around 63% more than the national median.
- The typical rent for a two bedroom apartment in San Francisco exceeds $4,000 — more than 2.5 times the typical national rent. It costs $1900 for a single room with a bunk bed.
- The typical price of homes listed in San Francisco is $1.3 million — 4.4 times the typical national price of $289,000 for homes.
- 81% of ALL homes in San Francisco cost $1 million or more,
- To buy a typical San Francisco home with a 20% down payment, residents need to earn $303,000 — what it takes more than six years for the median US worker to earn.
- Some residents are now living in houseboats and vans as a housing alternative.
- A family of four earning up to $117,400 in the area is considered low-income.
Why is it that we drive through a parkway, and park in a driveway?