Rent Trends in San Francisco 2018 Q1

Rent Trends, San Francisco, Red Carpet Bay Area
View of the San Francisco Bay from Cow Hollow (photo by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States

Rental Trends in San Francisco

If you are thinking of renting an apartment in San Francisco, I have good news for you! Residential rental rates are trending down since 2015. As of March 2018, the average rent for an apartment in San Francisco is $3,558 which is a 4.78 percent decrease from the average of $3,730 in 2017.

Three Factors since 2015:

  1. New construction: At least eight new apartment buildings in and around downtown started leasing in 2015. (See SF Chronicle article by Kathleen Pender)
  2. New law allows more roommates per unit: Legislation that went into effect November 9, 2015, allows tenants to add occupants despite restrictions in the rental agreement. (See San Francisco Tenants Union for more information)
  3. Airbnb impact lessened: San Francisco enacted an ordinance effective February 1, 2015, legalizing short-term rentals in the city, which brought some 7,000 units back on the market. (See for an overview of the Airbnb law in San Francisco)

What to Expect to Pay Now?

According to my colleague Liz Kraus, the latest rental rates by neighborhood:

  • Studios: Depending on location, studio rental rates can start at $1,300 per month in the Sunset District and Parkside and go up to $2,950 in SOMA and South Beach.
  • One bedroom: The lowest priced one bedrooms in San Francisco start at $1,750 per month in the Sunset and Parkside and can rise to $6,000 in SOMA and South Beach. 
  • Two bedrooms: Begin at $2,300 in the Sunset and can go as high as $10,000 in SOMA. 
  • Three bedrooms: Minimum of $3,600 in SOMA and in the Sunset. On Nob Hill, you could pay up to $16,500 for a three-bedroom apartment.

2015 – 2018 Comparisons

  • In 2015, the least expensive studio citywide rented for $1,700 in Parkside. As mentioned above, studios there and in the Sunset are available for $1,300.
  • Rental rates in Bernal Heights and Potrero Hill are now even with the rates in Pacific Heights.
  • In 2015, the entry point for a one bedroom in SOMA was $2,800. Now you can get into a one bedroom in SOMA for $2,200 per month.
  • In 2015, renters found one bedroom apartments in Pacific Heights starting at $4,000. Today, one can find them for $3,400 per month.

The Tech Jobs Impact

Jobs in technology companies located in Silicon Valley are impacting San Francisco neighborhoods and rental rates. Many renters are looking to shorten their commute by moving near a shuttle stop. Rental apartments located near tech company shuttle bus stops are in high demand.

— Reported by Anne Laury, Top 10% Producer, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury BRE#0169827