#exodus

Bye-bye Nancy? SF home listings up 96%

It seems that San Francisco residents are looking to leave in droves. Zillow report a record surge in listings, up 96%

SF Gate noted,

Online real estate company Zillow released new statistics shining a stark light on the issue this week. Their “2020 Urban-Suburban Market Report” reveals that inventory has risen a whopping 96% year-on-year, as empty homes in the city flood the market like nowhere else in America.

The reason for this change is likely a combination of a few unprecedented factors that have collided this summer, resulting in a historic shift in the city.

Zillow economist Josh Clark told SFGATE that the remote work shift alone has not sparked the exodus.

“It may be tempting to credit the city of San Francisco’s inventory boom to the advent of remote work that came with the pandemic, but one only has to look at to San Jose to question that narrative,” Clark said. “The San Jose metro, which like the city of SF is dominated by tech workers, has not seen a similar rise. Two things that could drive the difference are San Francisco’s density and its smaller share of family households.

Or maybe it’s the political class who have failed to solve homelessness and happily decriminalize public defecation on the streets. Yes, the city council thinks an app that allows residents to pinpoint human feces to alert cleaning squads is progress.

Vacant homes in Japan hit 8.46m

8.46m homes or 13.6% of all dwellings are vacant in Japan in 2018. This is up 3.2% on 2017 according to the Housing & Land Survey. CM wrote about the population exodus from regional areas in Japan in this report.

Vacancy rates in Wakayama, Tokushima, and Kagoshima prefectures stand at 18.8%, 18.6%, and 18.4% respectively, areas suffering population exodus. Tokyo, Kanazawa (Yokohama), Okinawa and Saitama, all experiencing net migration inflows, have the lowest rates of unoccupied houses.

Yubari City in Hokkaido has a campaign poster – “No money but love.

Yubari is notable for five things. First, it is the region that produces Japan’s most expensive melons, the type you see beautifully encased in a satin-lined pine box with a price label of US$200. Second, it had to declare bankruptcy in 2007. Third, its population has fallen from 117,000 in the 1960s to around 21,000 in the 1990s to less than 8,900 today, falling 19% in the last 5 years alone. Fourth, the average age of the city’s residents is set to hit 65 by 2020. Fifth, taxable income continues to fall with estimates that government coffers will swell by a woozy 25% of the levels seen 20 years ago.

Not a good sign for the regional economies. Japan has a stall speed warning and the government plans to fix it are painfully inadequate.