Having slipped back under $2,300 to a three-year low in April, the average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland has just ticked back over $2,300 a month but remains 11 percent lower than at the same time last year, over 13 percent lower than prior to the pandemic having hit, and 22 percent below its 2016-era peak of nearly $3,000 a month, with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oakland still holding at around $2,000 a month (which is 9 percent lower than at the same time last year and roughly 20 percent below peak).

With the average asking rent in San Francisco having just ticked back up to around $3,500 a month, however, the relative discount in asking rents between Oakland and San Francisco, which had dropped to 24 percent in the first quarter of 2021, is back to within a (1) percentage point of its pre-pandemic average of 34 percent, with the number of apartments listed for rent in Oakland now over 30 percent higher than at the same time last year, versus having dropped in San Francisco, and local employment having dropped, facts that aren’t “bearish” or “pessimistic” in nature, despite the rationalizations of some, but key to accurately forecasting rents, property values and development trends.

Keep in mind that our analysis of the rental markets in Oakland and San Francisco is based on over 250,000 data points going back two decades, not simply a couple of years nor “recollections,”, that we maintain, normalize and index on a monthly basis. We’ll keep you posted and actually plugged-in.

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