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Pssst, It’s Happening: Rents May Actually Be Decreasing

Thursday January 7, 2016

As an avowed Craigslist-Apartments-for-Rent stalker, I’ve been guessing for a while now that rents have actually started to come down in San Francisco. In our neighborhood, one bedrooms were firmly in the $3,700+ range for a while, but just this week, I’ve noticed some listings closer to $3,000. And not even dark-carpeted, basement caves. Real, live San Francisco wood-floored, light-filled, rent-controlled apartments. We even went to an open house for a proper, renovated 2 bedroom apartment for less than $3,500, and we were the only people there. Weird, right?

Well, it turns out median rents are falling. According to Curbed SF, they’ve actually fallen for the second month in a row now. The median rent for a 1 bedroom went from $3,670 in October to $3,500 in November to $3,490 in December.

Of course, rents always go down towards the end of the year, so let’s take a look at last November. Last November (2014, via Zumper) had a median one bedroom rent around $3,350, so comparing Novembers, the median rent only increased by 4.5% over 2015 (Zumper reports it’s at +2.9% for the year).

What’s more: Zumper calculates that median rents for two bedroom apartments have actually decreased over the previous year, by 0.4%. The median rent for two bedrooms has fallen by 7.4% over the past quarter. For a city that has seen 50% increases or more in median rents over the course of the past several years, that’s not bad at all!

Have you noticed any movement in your own neighborhood? Are any of you small-space dwellers thinking about finally moving?

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