Are rents really rising in San Francisco?

Real Estate

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – If you left the Bay Area during the pandemic, it may be a good time to head back to lock in those cheap(er) rent prices.

Remote work reshaped the Bay Area.

So many people left because they didn’t need to stay and overpay for rent.

On the other hand, some non-tech residents arrived.

Newcomer John Morgan decided to move to San Francisco because the rents were so low.

“I never thought I’d be able to live in San Francisco because of its notoriously high rent prices, but with so many people exiting the city, I was actually able to negotiate a rate that I feel comfortable paying while working remotely on a Chicago salary,” he said.

Morgan negotiated a 25% price reduction.

On the other hand, as more and more people get vaccinated, the city is starting to feel alive again.

What does that mean for rent prices?

In a recent report from Apartment List, rent prices in the Bay Area went up 3% in April.

The median 1-bedroom price in San Francisco was listed for $2,157, and 2-bedrooms were listed for $2,496, according to the same report.

Apartment List

“This past month we saw prices go up three percentage points month over month. 3% may not sound like a whole lot but in terms of city-wide rent prices, it’s quite a substantial increase than we normally see at this time of the year,” Senior research associate from Apartment List Rob Warnock said. 

In a conflicting report, Zumper reported rent prices going down by 1.9% and that a median 1-bedroom apartment in the SF was listed for $2,600, and 2-bedrooms were listed for $3,500.


The difference has to do with what kind of properties are analyzed.

According to Apartment List, “private listings companies such as Zillow or Zumper, have up to date data, but draw on a non-representative source of listings (typically skewing towards luxury apartments).

Apartment List attempts to correct for that bias by combining census median rent reports.

On Wednesday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced that employees will be returning to the office on May 17.

Other tech giants like Slack and Dropbox, however, won’t ever have to return to the office.

So it remains unclear if rent prices will ever go back to what they used to be, but one thing remains the same: SF rent prices are still the most expensive across the country.

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