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San Francisco Rent Dropped 27% in 2020

SF sees 10 straight months of drops in median rent for one and two bedroom apartments
By - posted 1/5/2021 No Comment

Thanks to SF Gate and Apartment List for letting us know that rents declined 27% in 2020.

San Francisco rents went down sharply (2.7%) in December 2020, and are down sharply by 27.0% in comparison to the same time last year.

Currently, Apartment List says median rents in San Francisco stand at $1,992 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,305 for a two-bedroom. This is the tenth straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in February.

Are Apartment Lists’ numbers off? Although the decline is real, the median rents seem off to us. Zumper reports that the median 1 bedroom rent in San Francisco in January 2021 is $2,660 down 24% from the January 2020 number of $3,500

San Francisco’s year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of -5.2%, as well as the national average of -1.5%.

Other Recent News About Rental Prices in SF

Rent prices have been decreasing not just in San Francisco over the past year, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities in the San Francisco metro for which we have data, all of them have seen prices drop. Here’s a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Over the past year, San Francisco proper has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 27.0%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $2,305, while one-bedrooms go for $1,992.
  • Walnut Creek, with a month-over-month increase of 0.6%, has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro. The median two-bedroom there costs $2,326, while one-bedrooms go for $2,035.
  • Emeryville has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the San Francisco metro, with a two-bedroom median of $3,322; rents decreased 0.5% over the past month and 12.1% over the past year.
  • Oakland has the least expensive rents in the San Francisco metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,952; rents fell 0.8% over the past month and 13.7% over the past year.

See the Apartment List rent report for 2020.