As companies continue adopting remote work models amid the pandemic, many San Francisco tenants are opting to not renew their leases — and leave town, altogether. So, for the first time in well over a decade, the city’s now in the midst of a long-overdue renter’s market.
Recent reports procured by the Wall Street Journal paint a demoralizing, yet uplifting panorama: vacancy rates are growing in San Francisco in tandem with unemployment figures, leaving a wake of cheaper-than-usual leases ready to be signed. After years of hyperinflated rents and steep mortgages — though, each the products of booming real estate and landlord markets — this is welcomed the news.
And with more tech companies (Twitter, Facebook, ad-tech employer Jelli.) continuing to embrace the WFH ethos, it just makes far more sense, financially speaking, for many six-figured workers to ditch their high priced rental units and retreat elsewhere.
For some, that means heading back home.
“People are leaving and ditching their apartments, or leaving roommates hanging, or trying best to find a sublease or just leaving San Francisco and moving back home,” said tech salesman Anthony Natoli to KPIX, having now decided to move back to New Jersey with his parents after paying more than $4,000 a month for his apartment in Cow Hollow. This is an anecdote supported by the president of a local real estate management company that added “all of the normal things we see as driving demand for rental housing in San Francisco have pretty much dried up.”
Per SFGate, the median rent last month for a one-bedroom apartment dipped by some 9 percent from where it was a year prior; similarly, the Chronicle noted last month that finalized housing sales dropped over 16 percent, a forty-year low. And though the housing market in Marin is faring better than most in other Bay Area metros, residents are still in a “mad rush” to leave.
These new reports, accounts, and figures, too, are supported by quick scrollings through the SF listings of popular rental websites like Zillow, Trulia, and, of course, the “rooms shares” section on Craigslist. It’s now not uncommon to spot sub-$1.5K listings in The Castro and Inner Sunset; less-than $2K rentals (for an entire studio) in the Tenderloin and Mission District; palpable prices for flats in the Marina District, if you’re able to stomach the face-mask-free crowds that occasionally spill into the neighborhood.
Alas, in a shucked nutshell: if you’ve been thinking about breaking your lease and moving elsewhere in the city, this is the most opportune time to do so.
Image: Unsplash via Berenice Melis