Sunday, August 11, 2013

Koreans and Indians and Real Estate Broker Racial Profiling in the People's Republic of San Francisco

As a follow up to my recent comments on profiling, consider this. Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of the top real estate agents in the People's Republic of San Francisco. She is constantly studying data to understand the market.

She told me that in the SoMa district, where the central planners have actually allowed some high rises to be built, there is quite a racial distribution of who ends up where in the residential buildings. She said the top floors are occupied by Koreans and Indians. She says Koreans and Indians really like the high floors and have the money to buy those units. She said then come the Chinese in the middle floors and then the Jews.

I didn't view this women as racist, but simply someone trying to better understand how to provide service to clients by understanding the market. Profiling and racism are two different things, but are very often confused.
Also of note, given the massive regulations that landlords have to deal with in SF, she discourages people from buying condominiums as investment rentals, in the city.

She also told me that condo prices in SF have pretty much recovered to pre-financial crisis levels and that a few properties have recently sold for record above comp prices. Bernanke money printing is definitely flowing from Silicon Valley into the People's Republic. Google, Facebook and others all provide private luxury bus transportation to and from work, for employees that live in the city.

Of course, this being the land of fog impaired free market haters, there has been a reaction to the buses. A report from Business Week:
In early May there was a public protest against them at a Mission District transit stop. More than 20 cops were on hand—roughly a 1:1 ratio with protesters. The high point? Two slackers smashing a Google bus piƱata.
The event followed recent screeds by journalists and social critics determined to cast the Google bus as a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the high-tech economy. These are not just buses, but “yachts on wheels,” a form of “invasive species.” As for the passengers, Sven Eberlein, writing on liberal blog Daily Kos, described them as oblivious, “headset-clad twentysomethings staring into their gadgets.” Rebecca Solnit, in the London Review of Books, called the buses “spaceships on which our alien overlords have landed to rule over us.”

1 comment:

  1. My sister told me a funny story a few months ago about shopping for a house in Toronto, Canada.

    She mentioned to me that several of the neighborhoods she was interested in that were nice and somewhat affordable(by Toronto standards),but all happened to be predominately occupied by Asians.
    (my sister is white, with blonde/brown hair and blue eyes)

    She called an agent that represented several of the houses in areas she liked and met up with her. Surprise! She was Asian.

    When she asked about the houses in one neighborhood the real estate agent said, "Sorry, that's an Asian area only"

    Funny. My sis told me, "I hate racism."

    I just laughed. I thought I'd never tell the story and have anyone believe here it goes. ;)