house price in San Francisco

global to local: focus on economy, gentrification and graffiti problem


Character of SF: unique policy and special status

  • San Francisco Bay Area have virtually complete powers in development including housing budget.
  • Economy-oriented urban living style
  • Potential problem: economic, culture and social equity

  • Economic & housing: A growing chasm between housing costs in SF and the rest because of SF political economy.
  • High Housing Cost vs urban culture with highly mobile creative workers.
  • The Gentrification would make housing price unaffordable to lower-income groups.
  • Global level

    The five-year (2010,2015,2020,2021,2022) house price-to-income ratio of hundreds of cities around the world

    House price-to-income-ratio is the average house price divided by the average disposable income per person and can be considered as a measure of affordability.​

    • The value of the price-to-income ratio represents how many years it takes for a person to buy a house in the local area, which is an index to measure affordability.
    • Among the cities recorded in the data, most of the cities with lower house prices-to-income ratios are concentrated in the United States, while most of the cities with higher ratios are concentrated in Asia.
    • San Francisco's home price-to-income ratio is moderate across the U.S., but relatively low across all recorded cities.

    USA level

    The change of average house price index for all states in US, from 2000 to 2017.

    Data source:​

    * House price index: Middle Tier Market Segments for Zillow Home Value Index. Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) is a smoothed, seasonally adjusted measure of the typical home value and market changes across a given region and housing type.

    The east and west coast states have higher housing prices, while the inland states have lower housing prices. California has the highest average housing price in the United States, there is a big gap with other states. Other states, such as New Jersey and New York, have relatively high housing prices. And in figure of the average House price index of US, California and San Francisco over time.

  • The housing price of San Francisco is much higher than the average housing price of The United States and California.
  • The average housing price of The United States changes in a relatively stable way, while the housing price of SAN and CA changes relatively fierce and the trend is basically the same, which has a strong correlation.
  • Housing prices peaked in early 2006, started to decline in 2006 and 2007, and reached new lows in 2012. This may result from the bursting of the housing bubble.
  • San Francisco: Socio-economic

    The ralationship between house price in Sf and businsee number in 2019

    According to research, for the area that has more businesses we consider it having improved infrastructure and convenient, various lifestyles. Therefore, the housing price in that area might be higher than the others. However, when the housing price are much higher than the average, it also higher the cost of running a business.

    By analysing from the data and visualization, we have the below findings:

  • Both housing prices and business numbers show a downward trend from west to east and from the middle to outer in SF Bay Area. 
  • The largest number of registered businesses in 2019 are seen in areas with Zip code 94103, 94107 and 94110. Meanwhile, 80% of the businesses is concentrated in San Francisco city.
  • The areas with low or high housing prices have small business numbers. For example, Palo Alto (94301) has an average housing price of 8.5 million dollars and only 6 registered businesses, Vallejo (94589) has an average housing price of 0.4 million dollars and 10 registered businesses.
  • Most of the businesses are in areas that have medium housing prices.
  • San Francisco: Gentrification

    The changes in education, poverty and housing prices in different Zipcode areas from 2014 to 2019 and clusters

    According to research, changes in education and poverty could be used as a reference to determine the level of gentrification. Therefore, the map explored the changes in education, poverty and housing prices in different Zipcode areas from 2014 to 2019 and finally clusters the areas through K-means clustering analysis.

    • General area-the increasing rate of 3 indicators over five years was as expected. Social issues were not highlighted.
    • Gentrification area-Poverty in these areas has risen sharply and the housing price has increased more than expected. The social equity issues of these areas would be a key concern for the government in the future.
    • Advanced development area-the education indicator has increased, and poverty rate has stayed and could even decrease. Besides, the increasing rate of housing prices would be below. There would be potential for development in these areas in terms of social issues.

    San Francisco: Graffiti

    The housing price (2019 and 1994-2016) and the residential building graffiti distribution of San Francisco city.

    • The city center has the highest price of house and the greatest number of graffiti points
    • Most of the residential buildings’ graffiti points which in the high housing price area are not offensive
    • San Francisco has a famous culture of street art, and until now people are still finding the balance between graffiti and rights protection of public or even private facilities. Government came up policies to deal with the constantly expanding graffiti points, so it doesn’t mean that higher housing price area has less graffiti points number.