Despite some recent misreports to the contrary, apartment rents in San Francisco have not risen 18 percent since the start of the year.

The weighted average asking rent for an apartment in the city has rebounded around 10 percent from its pandemic-era low last quarter, however, including a 1 percent increase over the past couple of weeks to around $3,370 per month.

But asking rents in San Francisco are still 18 percent lower, on average, than they were prior to the pandemic and 25 percent below a 2015-era peak, with the average asking rent for studios ($2,000) and one-bedrooms ($2,800) having only rebounded an average of 7 percent since May and still down an average of over 27 percent from their peaks.

And once again, while there are now 50 percent fewer apartments listed for rent in San Francisco than there were at the beginning of the year, which includes units in larger buildings as well as one-off rentals, there are still 27 percent more units listed for rent in the city than there were prior to the pandemic and 46 percent more listings than there were at this time of the year in 2019.

Keep in mind that our analysis is based on a subset of (well) over 100,000 listings going back going back to 2004 that we maintain, normalize and index on a monthly basis. And as always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by thattechguy

    I do corporate rentals, and had only vacancies for 1-2 months immediately at the start of the pandemic and nothing else followed. I barely nudged my prices down during last winter/holidays, (10%) but ALWAYS had signed contracts and zero vaccancies. This coming Spring, I was shocked at the demand, and have never seen it stronger – booked out many months in advance.

    I have increased my prices 20% and nobody is holding back.

  2. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    i heard Park Merced is off 90% and that the surrounding neighborhood houses got most of this semester’s limited influx.

    • Posted by sparky-b

      “Off 90%”, meaning down90% from
      Peak. So 2500 units are going for $250/month?

      • Posted by JSK

        I read that as a 90% drop in leasing not a 90% drop in rents.

  3. Posted by Mystery Realtor

    I’m back up to pre-Pandemic pricing, but I’m giving a first month free. (Which I don’t amortize).

  4. Posted by San Franny

    I noticed a place in lower nob hill that was priced at $1200 in 2001 going for $1750 (~$5.5 per square foot) with one month free this weekend, which means the annualized rent per month would be $1604. Just with inflation the unit should be at least $1800. In January a unit in the same building was listed for $2200 per month with two months free. This is class A residential.

    • Posted by two beers

      Good observation. The unit was dotcom bubble overpriced in 2001. It’s real long-term trend in value should be charted from the mid-90s before the funny-money gold rush hit SF and skewed average rents well above average wages. IOW, even that relatively lower-priced unit (competing with the many hundreds of other currently-vacant units on Nob Hill) is still way overpriced.

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