Increasing number of SF apartments offering ‘move in specials’

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We all know the San Francisco rental market is tough.

In recent years, it has presented challengers for renters, but now it seems to be getting tougher for landlords. If the number of “move in specials” is anything to go by, filling vacant units this fall isn’t as easy as it usually is.

Though hardly scientific research, a filter of “special” on apartments for rent in San Francisco via Craigslist turned up over 450 possibilities. And it’s not only the neighborhoods filled with luxury towers offering these specials. Yes, SoMa has many of them, but as the gallery above proves, there are deals in the Sunset, the Haight, Pacific Heights–really, most any corner of the city, and in both new buildings and old.

Is the market softening?

For example, if the unit in question is rent controlled, “investors want to keep the rental rate as high as possible,” Way explained. To illustrate, say a $3,000 unit drops its price to $2,500. “Then it would take seven to 10 years to get back to the $3,000 if the rent control increase was on average 2 percent a year.” On the other hand, if the price stays at $3,000 with an incentive of a free month, the lost income is easily recouped.

So, S.F. tenants and prospective tenants, peruse the gallery above of apartments that seem to want you more than you want them. We hesitate to use the word “deal” with these rents, but “move in special” has its own kind of appeal.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert

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