Having already started to slip earlier this year, prior to the COVID-19 hit, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco has dropped around 4 percent since the end of February to $3,950 a month, which is down over 7 percent on a year-over-year basis and 11 percent below a 2015-era peak of around $4,450 per month, with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom in the city now down to around $3,300 per month (which certainly isn’t cheap but is 8 percent cheaper than at the same time last year and 11 percent below peak).

At the same time, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland is down around 3 percent since the end of February to a little under $2,600 a month, which is only a (1) percent cheaper than at the same time last year but around 13 percent below its peak in the second quarter of 2016, with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom currently holding at around $2,300 a month (versus closer to $2,500 a month at peak).

As such, the premium for a one-bedroom in San Francisco as compared to Oakland has ticked down to 30 percent versus 40 percent at the same time last year.

And having jumped last month, listing activity for apartments in San Francisco and Oakland has since ticked up another 5 percent and is now up around 25 percent since the end of February.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by two beers

    This means now is a good time to buy, right?

    • Posted by Notcom

      It’s ALWAYS a good time to buy!! NEVER a good time to sell (unless of course it’s to buy something bigger…)

  2. Posted by Notcom

    “…11…13 percent below peak…” If a person wasn’t conversant in wealth-building strategies, the Curt-Schilling Index (did I get the name right?) and other R/E miscellanea, they might think the market peaked a while ago. Of course they’d be wrong…b/c an unremodeled 2-BR in Noe – w/ only ..get this!…ONE sink in the master – just went for 3% over 2015

  3. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    When it’s obvious Trump will lose and before Biden actually takes power, Trump & Co will bring it all crashing down. It’ll be their final feeding frenzy and leaves the Dems to clean up the mess again ala what Obama did for GWB.

    • Posted by 101

      I think you should look at Breed and the Board of Supervisors before the Federal Government to blame about the impending down fall.

      • Posted by john p downey

        @ 101– I am curious. What are the Mayor and the BOS doing (/ not doing) to cause the down fall in your opinion? I am not for nor against, but I am curious.

        • Posted by Notcom

          By reason of timing, I believe he (she? it…is a highway ‘gender neutral’?) is unhappy w/ the new guidelines … specifically the 30 foot rule for masking.

        • Posted by 101

          I was just saying to the poster to look local instead of POTUS in his rant. The Market dictates rent and the continued regulations and fees that the City puts on developers does not help.

        • Posted by Dave

          This predates Breed but the answer is obvious. The city is mismanaged. The civil service is bloated and too many phone it in. Go to Lake Merced sometime and see the DPW workers hanging out there for hours. Great gig if you can get it. The roads are not kept up, the streets are filthy, median strips are planted and often never again attended to so soon the plants die out. It goes on and on. Salaries are often high – the mayor is the highest paid of any in the US even though SF is a small city.

          Hang on – hotel tax revenue, sales tax revenue, business tax revenue and payroll tax revenue will drop significantly. The payroll tax will be gutted with Stripe and Uber (rumored) moving out (thousands of employees) and Twitter likely to – its payroll tax break is up. Will the city trim its workforce? Will salaries be capped for a while and those at the top forced to take pay cuts? Will city workers be forced to put in an honest 8 hour workday? The city is going to have to make some very tough decisions.

          • Posted by Notcom

            So it was some OTHER ‘Dave” that argued – less than a week ago – that the city..er City was headed toward a future that was “more sustainable”??

            No matter, you’re looking at this from the wrong angle; it’s not a financial problem, its a Poly Sci one. Who is the Speaker of the House and where is she from? If you think a(nother) federal bailout isn’t in the offing just b/c the Senate won’t play ball then your ignoring that the when the restaurants reopen, “coordinated Municipal Default” could end up on the menu. Re-election hungry Republicans are sure to want to order from the pasta selections instead, but it’ll be hard to ignore… if it’s the October Special.

          • Posted by Dave

            I was referring to sustainability insofar as population size/congestion of the City. To be sure sustainability also has an economic component. Budget, income and the efficient use of resources. The Feds throwing money at SF with no reform of how the city functions is papering over a problem. And no more than a stop-gap measure.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Yes but it’s SF’s problem and other people’s paper…isn’t that how SF builds many of it’s projects ??

          • Posted by Dave

            Other projects – you mean the Transbay Transit Center? That marvel of a building. The most expensive bus station in the world.

          • Posted by Notcom

            I was thinking more of the Central Subway ($942M/$1580M), but that would do, I guess. So many choices…so much time !!

      • Posted by T.Tip

        Not Federal government, LOCAL government: Pelosi, Newsom, gut wrenching high taxes, awful Regulations – i’m sure your research will attest to these facts.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Which Pelosi is in LOCAL government? Is there a Newsom in LOCAL government that I am unware of? Maybe you should do some research for yourself to acquaint yourself with the facts.

    • Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

      I’m afraid it’s not obvious Trump will lose.

      Everyone in Red State America getting shoved around economically and seeing the Cuomo brothers consulting one another on CNN while the Red States experience limited coronavirus damage and only financial penalties, will vote for Trump in anger once again.

      Joe Biden is a wind vane, whatever direction sentiment points, he faces.

      As for local real estate, prices will come down, but we’ll have low interest rates for a long time and the rich people will win, again.

      • Posted by hey

        Biden is such a weak candidate. He ran for president multiple times before and never finished better than 3rd place in a primary. He is a product of accident, chosen by Obama to attract the “rough around the edges” white men that were afraid of O’s “blackness.” This is going to be a nail-biting election. I hope Trump is removed but I’m not confident it will happen.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Actually the OP didn’t say it was; the comment was that “when it becomes obvious…”: so we should hope that it never becomes obvious. (The anticipatory joy that would bring many notwithstanding

        The current situation brings to mind what was said of Goldwater; to paraphrase: “they told me if I voted for Clinton we’d have riots in the streets and the economy would collapse. I did and my God..they were right !”

      • Posted by Fishchum

        “the Red States experience limited coronavirus damage”

        – Uh, I think it’s a little early to be calling this.

  4. Posted by wilson

    More reports that people are packing up and leaving:

    “The phenomenon of a lot of San Francisco renters “turning in their keys and leaving the city” is something landlords are seeing, according to Charley Goss of the San Francisco Apartment Association.

    “Lots of renters who maybe don’t have roots here, or who don’t need to be here for work, or who are frustrated with the city street conditions, are leaving,” he said. “This, combined with some tenants being unable to pay, would lead some owners to rush to fill vacancies as quickly as they can.””

    “It’s a dramatic drop in San Francisco and the South Bay,” said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades. “This is real. We have never seen anything like it.”

    On the owner side, nationally nearly 10% of all mortgages are in forbearance plans with more simply not paying and counting on foreclosure moratoriums. No distress right now if people don’t have to pay, but all those missed payments are piling up and will come due at some point. Hard to see how people who can’t make payments now will pay off that pile of debt.

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