San Francisco Rent Report, Q1 2018

 

Today we’re launching our first-ever HotPads quarterly rent report for San Francisco, featuring an in-depth look at the city’s median rent and new rental inventory over the past year. Our data shows that while rental inventory on HotPads increased nearly 40 percent in San Francisco since last year, renters haven’t seen relief on prices. The median rent in San Francisco is $4,508, up 1 percent from a year ago.

Rent growth in San Francisco has cooled in recent months, and hasn’t gone over 1 percent since December 2016. For perspective, annual rent appreciation in San Francisco reached a whopping 16.7 percent in February 2015. So while rent in the city is still at historical highs, they aren’t growing as quickly as they were before.

San Francisco renters will have almost 40 percent more newly-available rental listings to choose from now versus a year ago, with the Mission and SoMa reporting inventory increases of more than 50 percent. These new listings could be coming from a bunch of different sources, including new construction, renters moving, and even renters shacking up with roommates longer than usual.

Here’s the rub, though: despite all the new listings renters are finding on HotPads, their monthly rent check is still about the same as it was a few years ago. As we learned in Econ 101, low supply and high demand drives up prices. There’s no doubt that San Francisco is an in-demand place to live, so if it weren’t for these new listings hitting the market and increasing the supply, rents would be even higher right now. But as it stands, the demand to get an apartment in San Francisco is still outpacing the supply of apartments in the city, making it a little bit more difficult for renters to find the perfect pad.

However, there’s a silver lining for San Francisco’s solo renters. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment declined slightly in the Mission and SoMa, and median rent for a one-bedroom in the entire city is $4,284, up 0.3 percent year-over-year.

Check out the stats for the city and several prominent neighborhoods:

Key Findings — San Francisco

  • The median rent in San Francisco is $4,508, up 1.0 percent from a year ago
  • San Francisco’s rent appreciation hit 16.7 percent year-over-year in February 2015 and has been steadily slowing ever since
  • Median rent for a one-bedroom is $4,284, up 0.3 percent year-over-year
  • There are 39.6 percent more new listings to choose from in San Francisco than a year ago, according to HotPads new inventory data

Key Findings — Downtown San Francisco

  • The median rent in Downtown San Francisco is $3,759, down 0.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Median 1-bedroom rents are $3,015, up 2.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Rental inventory in Downtown San Francisco on HotPads is up 8.8 percent from a year ago.

Key Findings — Mission

  • The median rent in the Mission is $4,391, down 0.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Median 1-bedroom rents are $3,668, down 2.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Rental inventory in the Mission on HotPads is up 71.2 percent from a year ago.

Key Findings — Hayes Valley

  • The median rent in Hayes Valley is $5,285, up 11.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Median 1-bedroom rents are $3,620, up 17.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Rental inventory in Hayes Valley on HotPads is up 19.6 percent from a year ago.

Key Findings — SoMa

  • The median rent in SoMa is $4,553, down 2.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Median 1-bedroom rents are $3,552, down 5.2 percent from a year ago.
  • Rental inventory in SoMa on HotPads is up 52.9 percent from a year ago.

About this report: The HotPads Rent Report is a quarterly overview of the median rent and change in rental listing inventory within the city of San Francisco, as well as four of its neighborhoods: Downtown, the Mission and SoMa. New listings include all rental listings added to HotPads within the quarter, excluding properties listed for rent more than once in the last 90 days. Data are aggregated from rental listings on HotPads dating back to January 2014. The reports are compiled by the HotPads Economic Research team. HotPads tracks data for rental markets throughout the United States, but currently only produces reports for San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.