A real estate agent tours a home for sale during an open house May 4, 2010 in San Francisco, California.

A recent report from the California Association of Realtors shows pending sales in the Bay Area dipped 11.6 percent between October 2016 and October 2015.And for California as a whole, the number of properties receiving multiple offers was down for the seventh straight month, from 63 percent to 59 percent. We’ll get the latest data on the region’s housing market, including where home and rental prices are heading in 2017.

Kathleen Pender, business columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
Selma Hepp, chief economist, Pacific Union International
Christopher Palmer, assistant professor, Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley

  • jakeleone

    About twenty years ago I walked into a casino shop in Reno. I wasn’t a very well groomed that day, I meantioned to the clerk I had bought a 500k house in the Bay Area. She was shocked, she said “You bought a 500k house!?”. Well I bought on a dip, that was smart, my mortgage is about 1/4 of what others are paying in rent for 1 bedroom. But could I do that now? No way.

    Speculators bid up the cost of housing, now I hope reap a bear market (wishful thinking on may part), maybe go destroy some commodity market somewhere.

    We would actually all be far better off if people who owned more than one house (they are not renting out) paid extra in property taxes, in order to de-incentivize the greedy miser hoard that risks killing the goose.

    • jurgispilis

      You would consider it unethical and immoral to speculate in the trade of human organs. Why not the same for residential human housing?

      • jakeleone

        Exactly my feeling.

        What they should do is stop the hoarding by speculator by raising property taxes on second homes (like double-it). The exception would be for those renting out at below market or under a rent-control scheme.

        Speculators destroy the market that can’t respond by causing the price to rise, then they all leave when the market falls.

        But most of this has to do with the fact that many older areas of the Bay Area refuse to allow any new housing. A classic example is Woodside,which has the most room, but fights tooth and nail against any housing growth.

        Extremely Rich people are the primary reason for the Bay Areas housing problem, because they all have the snob atittude of “not in my backyard”.

        • wandagb

          If the population of the Bay Area were constant there would be no housing problem and no commute problem or FORUM program like we are listening to today.

          Just as the solution to water issues is reducing water use instead of building dams and reducing electrical use instead of more generating plants the solution to the housing problem is reducing the number requiring housing. Where to start? Look at where people are coming from.

          • jakeleone

            What I have heard is that Texas is actually the largest single place where California gets most of it’s people.

            But I also agree that we can’t take in the whole world, that would cause serious problems. That’s the purpose of having an immigration policy, and I am all for the U.S. having an immigration policy and for people to openly discuss this.

            Cities use very little water. Farms use 80% of California’s available water. And about 50% of the Total water is tied up as a result of environmental policies. So as for water, we could practically double without any impact. And that doubling in economic size, would pay for 100x over the cost of increasing our water supply.

            Hey, dams, electricity, the problem introduced by these clean electrical power (I.E. from a dam producing electricity) are nothing compared to the Green House gas impact California has on the world, due to our infamously long commutes and stalled Freeways. If we over-heat the world, we and everything in it are DEAD. If we dam a stream or two, and prevent that, maybe some endagered mosquito or moth lives a little while longer, until man-made global warming burns them up and everything else.

            It is so typical of California environmentalists. They are the guys who drive their big SUV to the wilderness to go white water rapiding. But don’t give a hoot about their fellow man or future.

          • wandagb

            More Californians are fleeing to Texas than the other way around.

            Most of the state’s growth is from immigration – the immigrants themselves and then their offspring.

          • jakeleone

            Yes, right now Californians are fleeing to Texas, but things can change with the economic cycle, in the past it was the other way around.

            Certainly immigration is a big part of CAL’s population growth, don’t mean to down play that either. Hey immigrants are people too, and we need to house them as well as workers that come from other states.

            Immigration is Federal issue, states must deal with it, that’s just the way it has been since day-1 of the U.S.

            If you want to change that dynamic you’ll have to change U.S. Federal laws. Generally immigrants have the same rights as citizens, so basically if you have a Green Card you can move anywhere, to any state that has a job in your category.

  • John

    Things will really cool off after Trump starts his trade war with China. At least traffic will be better.

  • Noelle

    which Trump appointee is the vulture investor who bought IndyMac mortgage after the housing crash?
    And then the house flippers are back, which is a bad sign.

    • William – SF

      Secretary of Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin

  • Robert Thomas

    “Tech sector”: [list of businesses not involved with making technological advance] “… we like to lump them together …” because they “use technology …”


    This makes as much sense as lumping Exxon with the Bread and Roses co-operative because they both use electricity.

  • Sar Wash

    Happy to hear that all experts still recognize that rent control must be abolished. Can we get a little more discussion of how to achieve this goal? We also need to eliminate affordable housing mandates, that are another major cause of housing shortages.

    • pastramiboy

      you need to leave housing issues alone.

  • Noelle

    Only the rich can live here, and the others have to move out to Stockton and other out of area cities, thus clogging up the roads with commuter traffic. This is what happens when you leave it to market forces.

  • BDN

    It may sound off-topic but it is spot on and wish your guests would comment on how renters can respond to banning tobacco, meth, and second hand smoke pollution in multi-unit apartment buildings.

    • rhuberry

      Marijuana smoke also???? So hypocritical in this area. Activists who are totally against tobacco smoking are often the same ones advocating for legalization of marijuana which is most often smoked by the recreational users. For nonsmokers, 2nd hand smoke from any cig is objectionable.

  • wandagb

    California continues to swell by a million people every three years. Mythical and celebrated ‘diversity’ is a marker for immigration. Unless we turn off the spigot the bath tub will continue to overflow with life in the Bay Area made ever more unpleasant and the crunch for housing and solution to gridlock made more impossible.

  • rhuberry

    To your Cal professor. Please don’t list police and fire personnel as low paid in need of low cost housing. Teachers yes. Fire and police in the $200,000 range when everything is added in.

  • Dawn Matheson

    Many people are shocked when I tell them that children get to keep their deceased parents’ property tax rate, even if they are renting out the house. In my neighborhood of 8 houses in Marin County, four of my neighbors have passed away since 2002. Three of the four houses are rented out by the children for $5000/mo. + The third house was sold and it too is a rental property. The children have never lived in the houses but they are paying 1960’s property tax. Another way for the rich to get richer. Even though the renters have been absolutely wonderful people, we would much prefer to have owners living here. The renters often stay for only short stints (can you blame them for $5000/mo.) and they have less invested in the community as a result. I have no problem letting the children pay a reduced tax rate if they actually live in the home, but these are just commercial properties with an amazing tax break.

    • wandagb

      If a person remodels their home a new assessment is triggered. Seems that if property is passed on it should be subject to some uptick. Even if it is kin living there they are still having their kids education subsidized by the higher taxes imposed upon the neighbors.

      Currently this is tax control for the upper middle class.

  • timholton

    Kathleen Pender’s response to caller Xavier exposed the cold-heartedness of neoliberalism, aka Maggie Thatcher’s governing principle, TINA— “There Is No Alternative”. Well, neoliberalism has failed miserably, as the recent election proves. There is an alternative to government-by-markets. It’s called being human. It’s called being civilized. It’s called putting the whole people, the health of the whole body politic ahead of private greed and not leaving the public good to accident and chance and ordinary workers tossed to the curb. “All for one and one for all.” That’s the essence of small “r” republicanism to which this nation purports to be founded on and that this country’s best citizens have always aspired to. Not “Dog Eat Dog,” the motto and principle of neoliberalism, a.k.a. anti-republicanism. It’s time Pender and neoliberals everywhere got back in touch with their consciences and their humanity and basic decency and ditched their fundamentally brutal and cruel ideology. The world can no longer afford neoliberalism.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    So sad that some people don’t see housing as a health need. Clean safe affordable housing creates clean safe communities with physically and mentally healthy citizens.


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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