Rents will climb when America's Cup sails into town


Organizers say they expect about two million people in the city to watch the races and they've got to stay somewhere.

Julie and Peter Berta have every reason to toast. They recently bought a beautiful two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath penthouse along San Francisco's Embarcadero, but they are moving out this summer.

"As we get closer to America's Cup coming, we just felt like it was a great opportunity to travel for two or three months," said Peter.

While they travel around Italy, they hope someone else will travel to San Francisco to watch the premier sailing event and rent their home for $25,000 a month.

"We're not trying to make a living doing this. If it works out great, if it doesn't, it doesn't," said Julie.

Right now the demand is not high, and after a recent report projecting fewer spectators, fewer teams and fundraising efforts that are falling short, no one is sure what to expect.

Real estate agent Deborah Brown, from J. Wavro Associates, says what may seem like sky-high rental prices does not amount to gouging.

"Hotels can go $600-$700 a night in the city. So I kind of look on average that this is about anywhere from that to $1,000 a night. It's not, I don't feel, unreasonable," said Brown.

One of her colleagues is listing an eight-bedroom Twin Peaks home for $40,000 a month. Even Marin County wants a piece of the action. A San Rafael penthouse can be rented for $10,000 a month and hop the ferry to San Francisco for the races.

Darcy Alkuf Barrow from Foundation Rentals & Relocation thinks in the end, prices will be more in line with traditional vacation rentals.

"The short answer is there is defiantly a market for it. I just don't think anyone is going to be paying for their son's college tuition with the money they're going to make," said Alkuf Barrow.

Alkuf Barrow says she is getting calls from all over the world. It's still early and she says most of the interest is in the Marina neighborhood because of course it is right across from where the races will take place. She says most of it is not about people asking for huge homes. They're looking for one or two bedrooms to rent and they want to stay just two or three weeks.

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