While the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco has continued to inch down, despite some recent misreports to the contrary, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland has inched up around 2 percent over the past month to a four-month high of around $2,325 per month, with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom holding at around $2,000 versus $2,600 in San Francisco.

That being said, the average asking rent in Oakland is still down 10 percent on a year-over-year basis, 13 percent below pre-pandemic levels and 22 percent below a 2016-era peak of nearly $3,000 per month.

And while listed inventory levels in Oakland just inched down for the first time since last spring, there are still 90 percent more apartments listed for rent in the city than there were at the same time last year versus 120 percent more, year-over-year, in San Francisco.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

30 thoughts on “Asking Rents in Oakland Tick Up”
  1. There may be some unusually strong competing forces going on in Oakland rental prices. Lots of new buildings have come online in the last 12-18 months, reducing prices (assuming you believe in supply and demand). However, those buildings are being offered at premium rates, increasing prices due to a change in mix.

    Regardless, I’m thrilled for the future of Oakland. So much infill happened over the last few years, both residential and office. Oakland finally got the boost it’s needed. If Howard Terminal can happen, and one more construction boom like recently, Oakland will officially have escape velocity.

    1. Keep in mind that “listed inventory levels in Oakland just inched down for the first time since last spring,” as noted above and versus having ticked up over the past month in San Francisco.

      1. Yes, but, per the above, “there are still 90 percent more apartments listed for rent in the city than there were at the same time last year.” More apartments listed could be the result of people leaving, or it could be the result of a newly constructed apartment becoming available for the first time.

        Do you have any insight into inventory levels broken down by age of building?

        1. Unfortunately, we don’t have an aging breakdown or report to share.

          But in terms of demand, the labor force in Alameda County, which actually peaked in 2019, was 3.8 percent smaller last month than it was prior to the pandemic, representing 32,400 fewer people and with 62,500 fewer employed residents overall.

  2. “And while listed inventory levels in Oakland just inched down for the first time since last spring”

    I wonder how much of this price stabilization is due to artificial warehousing of inventory by large developers. The WS Journal did a piece about this occurring in NY.

  3. Thrilled by the future of Oakland? Have you driven through West Oakland lately – the garbage, the sprawling homeless encampments – there is hardly a lone street that does not have a un-housed person living on it in my neighborhood – people lying on the streets around the WO BART station, people half clothes…. its getting closer to Blade Runner than anything else.

    Go over to Kirkham and 5th- check out that encampment- probably around 100 people living there – a white pick up on the corner- no wheels, filled with trash, no plate, been there along with lots of other abandoned crap…

    I’ve been here since 2000 – this is absolutely the worst I have seen it. But there are always the “dreamers”, thank goodness for that! So I can sell my place before the next crash destroys all that “hope”….

    1. Absolutely, Thank you for your Honesty.

      I’ve lived & worked all my life. Born in SF raised in Oakland since 1978 and in terms of the homelessness & the Rent Spikes I’m not sure which one is worse. What I’m more than sure of is a lot of us that are born and raised here work hard to stay here soon aren’t going to be able to because it’s now seeming more like San Francisco folks are flocking here not considering Bay Area natives are being pushed out. Also folks are moving here not understanding our cultural traditions of load music food & fun. So now the very thing that’s been bonding our community’s for years Is being vilified.

      It’s really tragic too see. Not to mention most of the homeless aren’t even from the Bay Area they are flocking to our community for the resources they believe San Francisco and Oakland have in terms of providing and helping the homeless which I believe caused an influx of homeless in our areas.

      1. You should loudly communicate to the San Francisco “progressives” what their failure to build housing is doing to your community.

        1. Oakland has many “progressives” and NIMBYs too. It’s like that in many smaller/richer cities too. Let’s get that right. We say we are liberal and wants to help people but our actions speak differently. If there’s an affordable building coming to our neighborhood, we are out there protesting at the community meetings and suing the city/developer.

        2. Jake T is spouting nonsense. San Francisco progressives are not responsible for the failure to build housing or the knock-on effects so visible in Oakland, the so-called “developer” community is. As anyone who has seen developers sit on entitled projects without building for years can attest. As anyone who has witnessed developers flip entitled properties without proceeding to construction will concede.

          What the comments earlier in this thread should do is communicate loudly that the market has failed to deliver affordable housing, largely because public policy is driven by developers who only want to build luxury housing targeted at the affluent and investors who mostly live outside the Bay Area. The solution is to tell developers to stuff it and get housing built by public agencies who have the mandate to build housing.

          1. Obviously it’s not just SF “progressives.” We are all responsible since we are a part of the community. Our elected leaders are supposed to represent “us.” We made it harder to build. We did. Everything adds up, permitting fees, rules, etc. Cost and time goes up. Nonprofits developers can’t build enough or fast enough. Maybe we should try again with public agencies. However the cost overruns to build of government-related projects need to be addressed too. Just because your public agency doesn’t mean you should follow a budget and watch your expenses.

            I’m actively trying to add ADUs to rent out. It’s costing me 250-300k+ (pre-covid) even if I do some of the work in house. These units are in Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Hayward. My units are renting for 1000-1600 for 1-2 bedroom. Can I charge more? Sure I can but I’m not trying to squeeze the last dollar. Rent being too high is not good for our broader community.

            I’m no saint and I’m trying to make money. I just do cash out refi to add more units and try to collect it back slowly over time. I’m trying to do my part to keep my units relatively affordable and to add more units to the community. However it’s very expensive and time consuming to build here.

            -just someone guy.

      2. For the first century of its existence, Oakland was mostly known as a quiet – even dull – city of SFH’s and the community was what one would expect from that (during one remarkable year in the mid 50’s there were a total of five homicides). So it seems this “cultural tradition.. of load music food & fun” isn’t quite as unmalleable as it’s being presented.

        1. Also those old Gramophones only went up to three. You couldn’t turn it up to eleven like you can with modern stereos.

          1. Don’t be a smarta**…they had radio (AM, anyway).

            But back to Ms. Clark’s complaint that newcomers don’t fit in: this chain has just hung up the “DO DISTURB” sign in The Town – one of the (many…many!!) projects that SS either wouldn’t or couldn’t spotlight – anyway, it bills itself as “stylish and playful”, which sounds like a first cousin to “loud …and fun”; seems like we’ve pushed gramp’s ole ’78 collection back into the attic yet again.

    2. We really need to address the homeless issue at regional/state level. Build the mental health centers, build the rehab centers, and build more transitional/affordable housing. Spend some billions and do “all of the above” option and throw everything it. What we have now is a dam tragedy and disgrace.

    3. I live in West Oakland as well, and I see houses still going up and often have sale prices of $900k or more. As for the homeless people, there are some very large and horrifying camps at the periphery, but the residential portions of West Oakland have much less of a homelessness and garbage than virtually anywhere in SF, let alone neighborhoods like The Mission or SOMA. As an FYI, the homeless problem is the worst it has ever been everywhere. Maybe it is indeed time for you to sell to a Dreamer and move somewhere far far away.

      1. Agreed. SF is exponentially more filthy and covered in drugged out addicts surrounded by needles and feces.

        You can actually walk from 12th Bart up Broadway to Temescal or Rockridge and only see one small encampment across from Kaiser…and no needles either. Oakland at least has the common sense to push it under the highways and empty industrial lots. SF let’s the druggies and Hondo dealers have unfettered control of downtown.

        1. Oakland’s encampments are large but mostly in the periphery near or under freeways. I was shocked to see multiple encampments on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley as well as a huge encampment in People’s Park right there in the center of the city. Oakland does a better job keeping downtown clean compared to SF and Berkeley.

    4. Homelessness is worse, yes. That is a West Coast problem, not just an Oakland problem.

      However, violent crime in Oakland is way down. Numerous neighborhoods which used to be completely dead / sketchy at night have office buildings and residential buildings replacing surface parking lots.

      1. Panhandle, I am curious in what part of Oakland you are witnessing less violence. There has certainly been a large increase since Covid over here by Mills. Police stats say about a 50% increase, which feels about right with what I have witnessed .

        1. 50% compared to….when ??
          A year ago or five years ago…or 25 years ago??
          I’m guessing the tennis pro is talking more about the latter periods…which have generally seen a decrease.

  4. Live in Oakland. 5 units in my very nice 50 unit building have been empty 6+ months. Landlord doesn’t list them. Can’t rent them for asking price, says he doesn’t want tenants in the other 45 units asking for a reduction to market….

  5. All interesting. I rent-out a nicely maintained flat in 100+ year old brown shingle. Temescal Berkeley border. 2bds Backyard with laundry, nice modern appliances. Approx 900 Sq ft. Sunroom with nice light. Tenants can afford it. It’s my “retirement” income, especially now with Quarantine. I could charge less but tenants feel it is fair. I don’t own other properties. I am semi-retired with kids in college. Tuition to pay though.

    I’ve seen rent go from about $1500 in 2005 to over $3000 now. Close to $3500. Again, tenants are happy and think their rent is fair. 2002s Market-rate fair. Not pre Y2K fair. That would have been under $1,000.

    Am I an ethical landlord or a greedy landlord?

    1. There are plenty of constraints on rent – rent increases – get what the market will bear at the moment.

    2. Well, it’s not really _your_ ethics that are in question, but the structure of a society where your tenant is working to support their family, and you, and your kid’s education is pretty messed up. That windfall for landlords has only been enabled by our anti-development policies over the past 40 years.

      1. Look didn’t you see he put a lot of capital into the property? Nice modern appliances aren’t cheap. Now fork over an extra $25k a year.

    3. Temescal borders Berkeley ? by like Frog Park? Isn’t “Berkeley” still another 6 blocks north?

      1. I think most people use neighborhood designations pretty flexibly: Temescal centers around 51st/Telegraph, Berkeley is +/- Alcatraz Ave…it’s only about 10 blocks away, I don’t think any two people would agree on precisely where one should stop using the name.

      2. Berkeley is about 15 blocks from Temescal in Oakland. I consider Temescal from about 51st Street to West MacArthur.

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