Whoa. So remember how the rental market in S.F. around 1999 was at like 2% vacancy and you had to like show up to open houses with your last three bosses, your high school report cards, and a suitcase full of cash even to qualify to be a tenant? (If you don't remember then you still have your youth, and we salute you.) Well those days are just about back, according to the Business Times! Vacancy is now at the lycra-onesie-tight rate of 3.2% in S.F. proper, and 3.7% in the Bay Area, down from 5.9% in 2009.
This is great news for landlords, who have been hiking rents about 9% recently, and sad news for everyone else who isn't a homeowner. Also sad: the 9,000 new units being constructed around the Bay won't be completed for another 2 to 3 years.