That’s the city’s largest monthly price increase since the company began tracking rents in 2017, and comes just six months after the largest monthly price decrease the company ever recorded in September 2020 (-4.9%). It’s also the second straight month that the city has seen rent increases, after a decline in January.
Even with this month’s jump, rents remain down 23.2% year-over-year.
“Despite the big jump in rents this month, it will still be some time before we see pre-pandemic prices in SF,” said Rob Warnock, research associate at Apartment List. “… But all signs are pointing to a continued rebound in the coming months. Typically the spring and summer are when the most moves occur, and this year it coincides with a widespread vaccination campaign that will hopefully lead to the sustained opening of businesses, offices, and schools, all of which create demand within the rental market.”
One of the other big players in the apartment listing space saw something quite different in March. Zumper saw a 0% change in March since February, with median rent for a one-bedroom apartment remaining at $2,650 and two-bedroom apartments at $3,500. That puts S.F. rents down 24.3% year over year for one-bedrooms and 22.9% down for two-bedrooms.
“Rents in the Bay Area were flat to declining in our most recent report with San Francisco staying stable and Oakland and San Jose decreasing on a monthly basis,” said Zumper analyst Neil Gerstein. “… While rent declines in the Bay Area have slowed considerably in Q1 2021, it seems the Bay Area has not caught up with other pricey markets just yet in terms of demand.”
Meanwhile, New York City, Boston and Washington D.C., and other expensive markets, saw rents climbing 4-5% on a monthly basis, signaling a return to other big cities that S.F. hasn’t experienced.
Oakland and San Jose continued to decline in price in March, with both cities experiencing a much steeper dip than the previous month. Oakland prices declined 3.5% and San Jose dipped 3.7% for one-bedrooms month-over-month. Overall, Oakland rent is 19.6% lower than it was at this time last year for one-bedrooms and 17.1% for two-bedrooms.
Vallejo was the only city Zumper tracked in the Bay Area with rent increasing on a year-over-year basis, up 5.5%. Sunnyvale rent had the largest decline, falling 31.7% since this time last year, and Redwood City came in second with a 29.3% dip.