While asking rents for an apartment in San Francisco have been on the decline since the start of the year, a decline which was amplified by the pandemic and really accelerated in May, rents in Oakland mostly held firm through June, at which point the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in the city was just under $2,700 a month and still up around 2 percent, year-over-year.

But as we highlighted back in July, signs of weakness had emerged.

And with the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland having just dropped to under $2,400 a month, asking rents in the city are now down 19.6 percent on a year-over-year basis and roughly 21 percent below a 2016-era peak of closer to $3,000 a month, with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom in the city having just dropped to under $2,000 a month (versus closer to $2,500 at peak).

At the same time, listing activity for apartments in Oakland, which had remained relatively stable in the second quarter of the year, has nearly doubled since the end of June and is up over 60 percent versus the same time last year.

And while the jump in listing activity in Oakland still lags the even larger jump in San Francisco, as does the relative decline in rents, the gaps continue to close (with San Francisco rents now down around 23 percent on average).

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    The good news for renters is there are still hundreds of units being completed right now. 1721 Webster is weeks from completion. 1100 Webster should finish up this year. 385 14th shows 130 available units.

  2. Posted by ST

    Watching how Oakland elected officers encouraged the “mom for housing” and how they cut the police budget, no amount of drop will ever entice me to invest in Oakland. I would be worrying about the “return of my investment” (versus “return on”)…

    • Posted by Notcom

      I don’t think they actually cut anything…yet. The idea went to a “task force”, which is traditionally where ideas go to die.

    • Posted by haighter

      “mom for housing”? I guess i missed that one

    • Posted by Zac

      Right? No property rights anymore…It’s crazy.

      With that said, I keep my Oakland places. Hopefully more investors stay away!

      • Posted by ST

        Well, you are actually correct, the more free a market is, the more competition, and the less profitable an investor. In that sense, I am sure those investors that dare to stay in Oakland are likely making a ton of profit.

        In today’s depressed rent market, a $700K property can fetch $2800 rent in SF, and likely $2300 in Mountain View. What is the number for Oakland?

        • Posted by Zac

          No Idea. I haven’t bought any 700k properties lately. My last place was from 2018. 500k for a triplex in the “Rancho San Antonio” area. Tenant free too! I spent another 100k on renovations. It was a steal.

          $2,250 2bed/1bath
          $2,400 2/1
          $3,250 3/1.5

          I do cover water and trash…

    • Posted by Bfly Stayfly

      I love your thinking, plrase spread the word amongst your friends & colleagues. Hopefully soon all the gentrifiers will leave our city once & for all. ???

      • Posted by ST

        it is pretty funny, I googled “mom 4 housing” last night, and that flipper was forced to sell any/all of their properties to Oakland Land Trust first, so they did. They offered up their ENTIRE portfolio, and land trust has yet to buy one!

        I think elected city officials will benefit tremendously from a basic economics 101

        • Posted by Notcom

          Maybe they can sit in on a class with the Legislature…once schools reopen, of course.

          • Posted by ST

            “One of the pieces that’s missing, obviously, is how are we going to fund keeping these properties in the community?”

            All these “first dibs” law are just for show and generate no results… Tons of tax payer money got wasted along the way….

            Some one care to find out how many buildings have been purchased under COPA? Dare I guess 0?

      • Posted by Kyle

        Who are these “gentrifiers” you speak of? The vast majority of them are regular, hardworking folks… Sure, they might make more money than you and me (surely me!) and sure they might have different interests than you and me. However what is so wrong about them? To me, they did everything right. They probably went to a decent college, got a decent education, and then interview and got a decent job. What’s so wrong with doing all those things? Do we want that for everyone?

        Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox.

  3. Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

    Is it true that 10,000 units are set to be completed in SF this year and next? Which, ironically, would be a would be a record number by historic standards – 5K units/year.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As we first reported earlier this year, the number of units which were under construction in San Francisco had ticked up to over 10,000 at the end of last year, which was the most in over a decade, 26 percent more than at the end of 2018 and nearly 70 percent above the average number of units under construction across the city at any point over the past ten years as well.

      And now back to the market in Oakland…

  4. Posted by Ts

    You left out rent control too and homeless population up 63% but Oakland is trying to attract more. Oakland leadership is a joke and the liberal citizens need to wake up

  5. Posted by stop driving

    I ventured across the bridge to Oakland last week for the first time in over a year. It’s worse than I have ever seen it. You couldn’t pay me to live in that place.

    • Posted by René Chateaubriand

      Your sightseeing is imbued with the usual White racism of San Francisco transplants from all-White suburbs. Naturally, your racism blinded you to all of the new high rises and large-scale developments underway. Your White racism blinded you to the fact that covid19 pandemic suppression efforts has dampened booming Oakland’s downtown/uptown in much the same it has San Francisco––and every major city and urban area in the Blue State nation. Your White racism blinded you to the vastly upgraded Lake Merritt shoreline and the hugely built-up Jack London Square. In fact, Monsieur stop posting, the only thing your report as what you have “seen” is that YOUR racism and bigotry are “worse than” one “has ever seen.”

      Why on Earth would you want to advertise that??

  6. Posted by Damon

    Lets see all you punk ass b*tches run the f*ck out of oakland when it pops and you all lose your asses and go crying how it isn’t your own damb fault

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