For Lease in Pacific Heights

According to a query of over 1,700 active listings for apartments in San Francisco and Oakland, including one-off rentals and units in larger developments, while the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland (around $2,700 a month) is running 3 percent higher versus the same time last year, the average asking rent in San Francisco (which is closer to $4,100) is running about 4 percent lower, year-over-year.

And while an average asking rent of around $4,100 in San Francisco certainly isn’t cheap, it is 9 percent cheaper than its peak in the second half of last year.

41 thoughts on “San Francisco Rents Down, Oakland Rents Up”
  1. It’s interesting to see the variance in the rental market – I just checked the Richmond in S.F.; there are multiple 2-bedrooms in the Inner Richmond for under $4000 (a few under $3000), but further out past Park Presidio there are landlords asking close to $5000 – one of them hardly something I’d say warrants the asking price. I think that signals frothiness and uncertainty, and some people trying to lock in higher rates in the face of an overall decline. Curious for others’ thoughts, though (and in a particularly impartial manner – my own lease for a 2-bedroom in the Inner Richmond doesn’t cycle until July!)

  2. Oakland still has room to grow. There is no reason why rents in SF are so much higher than rents in Oakland. The rents will continue to converge to where in the future rents in SF & OAK will be much closer.

    1. “No reason” – well, except for the hundred thousand or so very highly paid jobs that Oakland doesn’t have, nor the ocean access, nor the international fame/prestige, nor the access to hundreds of thousands of other highly paid jobs in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Right, no reason at all why rents aren’t much, much closer.

        1. Y’are really doing a disservice to Oakland by so often comparing it to San Francisco. You will do much better to compare with Fremont, which is closer in size to Oakland than is SF, or the Fremont-Hayward area. Fremont has been growing much much faster than Oakland for decades. The Fremont-Hayward area is and has been the real alternative to Oakland. It is also the real population center of the Bay Area. It has BART access to downtown SF, just like Oakland; and it has better access to the SV, which is the largest job center in the Bay Area. And it has the PDR to compete, and it “still has room to grow” too. And Hayward is only a couple miles from Oakland. Yup, Fremont-Hayward has been drawing away the growth and jobs and wealth from Oakland much more than has SF and is likely to continue to outpace Oakland by lots of lots. If anything, Oakland benefits by being close to SF to catch the overflow from the frequent SF booms. Lucky Oakland, what would they do without SF to prop ’em up?

          As for why SF and Oakland will get further apart: the San Andreas. And Oaklandish rents will ever be depressed for having to endure the incessant boosterism based on faint hopes and shadowy facts, as have been well represented by the recent wave herein.

          1. People want to live in Oakland because of the weather, character of the neighborhoods, scenic views, the walkable charming neighborhoods like Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, Temescal, Lakeshore/Grand, Uptown, Chinatown, Jack London Square, etc. Fremont is a suburban city without the charm of Oakland. Also, Oakland suffers having S.F. across the Bay. Without S.F. acrosss the Bay vilifying the city with selective crime reporting while at the same time promoting S.F. events endlessly, Oakland would have thrived decades ago. S.F. stunts Oakland’s growth.

          2. Oakland is a suburb of SF, always has been and always will be. Even the US Census Bureau classifies Oakland as a suburb of SF. No point in fantasizing about Oakland without SF. There has never been an Oakland without an SF, never will be.

            And yes, Oakland has some charming areas, and many not so charming. What Oakland does have that SF doesn’t is a thriving container port well-connected to an intermodal (train/truck) network. The reduction of the SF Port in the 1960s through the 1980s freed much of the land that is now filling up with homes and jobs at a faster rate than Oakland.

      1. I would say that San Fran won’t go much higher and if anything you’re seeing a correction. Not because of Oakland or surrounding area, but the fact that the affordability is truly out stripping the means of those who would be consider middle to upper middle class in most of the country

  3. The Bay Bridge is only 5 miles long and Oakland has better weather, better theaters, more parkland for hiking, horseback riding, etc. SF may have better access to the ocean but Oakland has a redwood forest just 5 miles from downtown. Oaklanders don’t have to go to the Muir Woods, they just go to Redwood Park. Oakland is also closer to Napa, Monterey, and Tahoe. Parts of Oakland are closer to the SF financial district than parts of S.F. Also Oakland has better religious architecture, a better zoo, a more convenient airport which is actually within city limits and three pro sports franchises. So yes, there is no reason for such a huge disparity in rents between Oakland and S.F.

    1. Except that SF is internationally recognized as a gateway city. 6 billion+ people on this earth and probably >80% have heard of SF or seen it on tv, etc. oakland? Probably < .001%.

      1. I don’t know about that. Oakland is a pretty well known city. The Oakland Raiders played in London last year in front of 80,000 fans and this year in Mexico City. The Oakland A’s have won 4 World Series and the Warriors have won two in Oakland where a parade downtown and next to Lake Merritt drew 1 million people. Don’t forget that Oakland is the social conscious of the Bay Area. The occupy movement as well as the anti Trump marches much more powerful in Oakland.

          1. That’s why Oakland International now offers flights to London, Barcelona, Stockholm, Oslo, Mexico, etc. S.F. is only 12% of the Bay Area population and a tiny fraction of the Bay Area land mass. There is no way to compare S.F. to NYC which has 8 million residents and dominates its region. S.F. is just 2x Oakland in population and smaller than San Jose. This is probabaly why the defensive attitudes of those who feel the need to demean Oakland.

          2. I said internationally, nobody cares or barely knows about Oakland. And honestly, if they do it’s for atrocious crime rate. (as an international citizen myself) When you head “Oakland”, you quickly still hear “don’t get shot!”

            I’m not trying to demean Oaktown, but it’s just a fact and stigma. It’s not internationally renowned. Nobody calls it the “Oakland Bay Area”, it’s the “San Francisco Bay Area”. I’m also not comparing SF to NYC in residents and numbers, I’m comparing it to the prestige and rapport similarities. What Oakland is SF’s sidekick, and Newark, NJ or Brooklyn is NYC’s side kick. Oakland will at best, be SF’s side kick – although really it’s Silicone Valley.

            One more point: people fly into OAK because of the spill over of business from SFO. International business travels don’t pick OAK as their first choice generally, unless they’re smart travelers.

          3. The Bay Area is far more than tiny San Francisco. And yes, you are being arrogant and demeaning towards Oakland. Oakland is a proud city with it’s own institutions, museums, zoo, airport, great restaurants, theaters, historic architecture, beautiful parkland and pro sports francises. You don’t think people internationally know that the Warriors, Raiders and A’s play in Oakland? You don’t think people have heard of the great culinary scene, the arts scene, etc.? It’s all been featured in the NYT. You had to try to put Oakland down with something about “being shot” and ” a crime rate.” Typical arrogance from SF types.

          4. The Bay Area is named after a body of water. It’s not owned by the City of San Francisco. It’s not named after the City of San Francisco it’s named after San Francisco Bay. The area is not San Francisco to claim as its own. The Bay Area is comprised of over 100 cities including two other large cities in Oakland and San Jose. San Francisco has a very high opinion of itself. This is about S.F rent going down while rent in Oakland is still rising. No need to bash and demean Oakland over that fact.

          5. As you can see it’s about the Bay and Northern California. Oakland is at the center of every attraction in Northern CA and international airlines realize that the majority of residents live on the Oakland side of the Bay. Rents go up when a city finally sheds an unfair reputation cultivated by a larger competing city across the Bay.

    2. Comparing SFO to OAK? Really? And Oakland’s three pro sports franchises is about to become two, and maybe even one if the Raiders get their way. Doesn’t seem that great when two-thirds of teams want to leave Oakland.

      1. The Forty Niners left San Francisco. Both the NFL & MLB want to be in Oakland. Teams trying to extort cities is not an indication of the “greatness” of a city.

    3. Got it. You prefer Oakland.

      Other people prefer San Francisco. It’s a matter of opinion. Neither side is right or wrong.

        1. What matters to real estate values is that on aggregate, people have preferred SF for the last 170 years. That might change, but until it happens, valuations in SF will be considerably higher

          1. People in S.F. prefer San Francisco. The other 88% of the Bay Area population might prefer where they currently live.

          2. So what? You’re the one endlessly pushing Oakland over SF. As between the two cities, SF has been preferred by most people for the last 170 years, as evidenced by its higher real estate prices.

  4. Stop bickering and dividing and defining our communities by their potential for profit. More than ever we need to unite as one beautiful Bay Area.

    1. We should be one beautiful Bay Area except that Oakland has been ostracized for decades by certain parts of the Bay Area. Unfortunately we are a series of competing fiefdoms fighting for every scrap. Having said that, rents in SF & Oak should be within 10 to 15% in 5 years based on Oakland’s current popularity and desirability.

      1. The only people ostracizing Oakland are SF landlords and RE types who need to justify the premium they ask for their properties.

        1. Don’t forget the S.F. media who for decades has promoted San Francisco while marginalizing and fear mongering Oakland with selective crime reporting. All of that benefits San Francisco rents and keeps Oakland rents much lower than they should be.

      2. “SF & Oak should be within 10 to 15% in 5 years”? No way Jose.

        I predict oak rents are going to take a big hit at the next down turn. SF, not so much, because it’s still prime. Bayview will be a better investment than Oak long term too IMO. In 10 years I predict Bayview will be prime, or semi prime, or prime -. Oaky will be all over the map, as it is now.

        1. S.F. is dependent on tech and not as diversified as Oakland. S.F. is too expensive while Oakland is still under priced. This is why rents in S.F. are coming down while rents in Oakland are still rising.

        2. What do you mean “Oakland is all over the map?” Rents in San Francisco vary by location and neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *