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A study by BuildZoom shows that in San Francisco, zip codes in which rents increased more steeply have actually tended to see remodeling and home improvement activity increase less than elsewhere, and in some cases even decline.

“Using data on housing costs from Zillow in conjunction with our building permit data, we estimate that from 2011 to 2013 a 10% increase in rents in a zip code area was accompanied, on average, by a 9.7% decrease in the number of homes undergoing permitted improvement,” says Issi Romem, chief economist for BuildZoom.

In contrast, Romem found, remodeling and home improvement activity tended to increase more in zip codes with greater increases in home values, as opposed to rents.

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