The average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco ticked up to a record high of $3,524 per month in the second quarter of 2015, up 2 percent over the past three months and 9.1 percent higher versus the same time last year, but the year-over-year increase, which was 13 percent in the first quarter of 2015, has been slowing and the vacancy rate has ticked up to 4.9 percent, its highest level since 2012, as 1,800 new units were completed in the first half of the year.

The average asking rent in San Francisco has increased 58 percent since 2009. And with the development pipeline flowing and rental rate growth having exceeded income growth for over five years, DTZ maintains “a slowdown is inevitable” but still can’t decide if rents will simply flatten or go down.

At the same time, the average asking rent for an apartment in the East Bay has increased to a record $2,049 a month, up 5 percent over the past three months and 13.5 percent higher, year-over-year. The average rent for an apartment in Alameda County is now $2,200 per month, up 14.1 percent since the second quarter of 2014.

Asking rents for apartments in the East Bay have increased 26 percent over the past two years, higher than anywhere else in the Bay Area. And the vacancy rate for apartments in Alameda County currently measures 3.2 percent, up 0.1 percent from the first quarter of the year with 400 new units delivered in the first quarter of 2015 (versus a total of 900 in all of 2014).

The current average asking rent in San Mateo County is $2,775 per month, up 12.3 percent year-over-year. And the current average asking rent in Santa Clara is $2,584 per month, up 11.3 percent year-over-year.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by francis

    Makes sense that SF would start to level off when the rent reaches 30% of the income of a typical tech worker. The question now is how far out the $3,500 plateau will expand.

  2. Posted by moto mayhem

    east bay is still by far the cheapest area of the bay, and its that way for a reason

    • Posted by what's the reason

      “it’s that way for a reason.” do tell…

      • Posted by Matt in Uptown

        oh moto…

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        most of the east bay is exactly the same as every other suburban area in the US,

        and the crime in oakland is terrible.

        and its too hot

        • Posted by Oaky

          I defy you to find cime stats that would identify it as terrible. I have friends that live in Baltimore, who for some reason assumed Oakland had a similar murder rate. Please look those numbers up before stating things about Oakland (which is now much superior to SF)

          • Posted by bg


            oh man, that was funny

          • Posted by anon

            Oakland has like 49 in 2015, SF 25. So, pretty much twice as many with half the people. You’re utterly full of it, Oaky. Why come on here and lie like that? bizarre.

          • Posted by Oaky

            I doubt anon will read this, but to anyone future that reads this, the comment by anon deserves a response.

            Oakland has 49 murder in 2015, and apparently that makes “crime in Oakland terrible.”

            St. Louis, a smaller city has had 122 murders.

            Baltimore, a somewhat larger city, has had 201.

            DC’s murder rate is also higher, and I’ve lived there, it’s heavily gentrified outside of Anacostia.

            Hell even Milwaukee has a greater murder rate.

            Oakland is experiencing a historic drop in crime, it’s similar to how some Manhatanites still won’t venture into “Brooklyn”, even though at this point it’s largely composed of upscale cocktail bars.

          • Posted by anon

            Milwaukee’s murder rate spike was atypical, right? the other three cities are known to have severe problems. Why you feel like comparisons to known trouble spots in other regions makes Oakland’s problem less than “terrible” I don’t know. Especially when compared to its neighbor 8 miles away, who it is half the size of yet has twice the murders.

          • Posted by Oaky

            If your point is that Oakland is comparatively terrible to SF, then sure. It’s also terrible when compared to most European, and probably almost all Asian, cities. But it’s not terrible with respect to urban cities in the United States in general, even the nations capital.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            Oakland crime is worse than most US cities, but you pulled out DC, baltimore and st. louis which are the 3 worst.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            the murder rate (per capita) is 6x national average, the rape rate is 2x national average, the robbery rate is 12x and the assault rate is 3x. Violent crime rate overrall is 5x national average. I would count that as TERRIBLE.

            i just looked up the violent crime rate in 2013 from NY, SF, Boston, LA, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, DC, Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia.

            Oakland was the highest of all of these (findthedata wbsite). Baltimore was a close 2nd

  3. Posted by Dave

    I’m surprised the SC rent average is so “low”.

    These things go in cycles and there are some who think the real estate home prices in SF have peaked. That would go along with rents peaking.

    It seems prices have reached a point for SF apartments that a significant number of the market has turned to the East Bay which is a bargain. Relatively speaking. The average Aameda rent will easily rent you a home in Sacramento.

    • Posted by MKP

      this is accurate. purely anecdotal, but my wife and I (with a combined income of close to $400k, albeit with lots of student loans) had to leave our old place in SF due to a massive, 70% rent increase. we looked in SF for places to rent, to buy….and ended up with a condo in oakland.

    • Posted by anon

      “It seems” that we should be seeing a population explosion in the east bay and an exodus in SF. Are there numbers that show this? None that I’ve seen…

      • Posted by Dave

        That would be interesting to see. And projections too.

        SF is around 800K and there does not seem to be a population explosion going on here. Though I’ve read SF will grow some more. Tens of thousands more? I don’t know.

        • Posted by anon

          you don’t feel like SF is increasing in population these days, by quite a lot? why? + it is

        • Posted by anon

          The ACS estimates that SF has grown by 47,000 people from 2010 to 2014. For a built out city, that’s explosive – 5%+ in four years.

          • Posted by Repornaddict

            I suspect both the out and in flow have been huge over that time period, which the net figure would partly hide.

  4. Posted by Matt in Uptown

    I do not see the sense in comparing SF Co (49 sq mi) to Alameda Co (+700 sq mi). I do see logic in comparing Alameda to CoCo to Santa Clara to San Mateo. Seeing as SF is the only city and county logic would require more parsing of the data to come to meaningful conclusions. Like lump SF and SM counties together or compare SF to conglomerations like Berkeley-E’ville-Oakland.

  5. Posted by Jake

    SF 2014 population was 852k according to the US Census. SF rightly gets compared with the adjacent counties for just the kinds of topics discussed here. ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) gathers much of this including official population projections. Here is one of their more recent pubs on population and housing.

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