The weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco ticked down another (1) percent in October to $3,690 per month and has now ticked down for two months in a row.

As such, while the average asking rent in San Francisco is 10 percent higher than at the same time last year and 21 percent above its pandemic driven nadir in the second quarter of last year, it’s still 10 percent lower than prior to the pandemic and 17 percent below a 2015-era peak of nearly $4,500 a month.

At the same time, the number of apartments listed for rent in San Francisco, which suddenly jumped around 25 percent in September, ticked up another 5 percent in October and is now back to within 5 percent of its pre-pandemic supply.

Across the bay, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland ticked down a little over a percent in October to $2,575, which is 7 percent higher than at the same time last year and 13 percent ($300) above last year’s nadir, but still 4 percent lower than prior to the pandemic and 13 percent below peak, with the average discount for renting in Oakland versus San Francisco, which had dropped from 35 percent prior to the pandemic to 25 percent early last year, currently holding at 30 percent.

Our analysis of the rental market in San Francisco and Oakland is based on over 200,000 data points going back to 2004 that we maintain, normalize and index on a monthly basis. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

19 thoughts on “Asking Rents in San Francisco and Oakland Slip, Inventory Up”
  1. Anyone sensing a trend on Socketsite lately? Almost every headline points to a decline in rents, home values, home pricing and office occupancy. The only headline pointing to any increase are mortgage interest rates.

    1. Days on market. Unsolicited marketing emails from Realtors. Ad hominem attacks and bad faith arguments lobbed at market skeptics. “Tech” layoffs (late December is shaping up to be brutal). The scrupulously-sourced Two Beers Abandoned Sidewalk Mattress Index has also been inching up instead of declining over the last month…

        1. Like being attacked for citing the 30% investor share of market purchases that actually turned out to be an understatement according to real estate industry statistics, and even more of an understatement when the parameters of the data set were analyzed logically?

          1. “attacked” ? Rather strong language there. And no, you were all over the place there, lumping various municipalities together among other assumptions, and did not make a point whatsoever. This was pointed out to you. The word is rebuked. Not “attacked.”

          2. My intelligence and sanity are often impugned here when I question shibboleths, received wisdom, herd behavior, and institutional bushwa. The editor sometimes prunes the vitriol (including my own), but I’ve been the object of real estate industry invective here since I started posting during housing bubble 1, under the same handle (especially on those slow Tuesday and Sunday afternoons!😉).

          3. No. Socketsite has apparently decided to curtail the argument, but that was not what you said at all.

        2. I find two beers commentary refreshing and a nice vacation from the self-satisfied “I got mine now screw you” postings that seem to be normal around here.

          1. “seem to be the normal around here”, really? I recall one comment about having a low interest rate. Where are you seeing this?

  2. I’ve been collecting data on individual buildings in Oakland and Berkeley for a few years and at the moment I’m seeing increasing vacancies across the board, except in brand new buildings that are still trying to do their initial leasing. For example, the prominent Atlas building bounced off 90% occupancy in the summer and is now crossing 80% going the other way. That’s a lot of vacant apartments, by local standards. Buildings that hit zero vacancies like Lydian and Assembly are now about 10% vacant according to advertisements. What I’m not seeing is a lot of declines in advertised price, though. I have a seen a slight real-dollar decline in the actual lease prices of rent-controlled buildings in Berkeley throughout 2022, however.

    If the Oakland rent registry gets off the ground it’s going to be a nice source for market watchers.

    1. I am seeing more ads with “1 month free” in the east bay. With rent control, it is better to give free rent for a month than to lower the rent since next year’s rent control increase is a percentage of the current rent.

      1. I don’t think it has anything to do with rent control. It’s just consumer psychology. You habituate the tenant to the rent you want and at renewal time you tacitly sustain it, if the tenant doesn’t try to negotiate it down.

        All the newer buildings, none of which are rent regulated, are offering 1-3 months free and/or cash incentives for new tenants.

  3. Couple of thoughts:

    – 10% below pre-pandemic times sounds about right given the 2020-2021 exodus, combined with relatively weak return to office policies so far.
    – I’m hearing anecdotes from friends about companies forcing return to office as a potentially cheap way to reduce the workforce in these recession times. Require three days in office or be fired, basically. I’m also hearing a few people getting burned out by being fully remote.

      1. Because “investing” in Ponzi schemes, smartphone gimmicks, and flavor-of-the-decade social media with questionable business models are the only alternatives to RE?

        1. Agree, happy to see the end of all that gimmicky ponzi computer and “technology” nonsense. Now back to unskilled building real stuff with a man’s two hands. And none of that electric “power tools” trendy stuff. And no more “mortgages,” or artificial housing price inflators as I call them.

          1. Reductio ad absurdum to the rescue!

            Obviously, rational investment of precious dollars in potentially productive technologies that might pan out and increase productivity and quality of life is exactly the same thing as throwing ZIRP & QE∞ mud at every disruptive self-driving foosballing pizza delivery app startup unicorn to see what sticks.

            Is it really worth your time and effort to pile on logical fallacies in the absence of any logic-based counter to my argument?

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