The San Francisco housing market saw rental prices take a nosedive over the past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this spring has not seen the rebound many expected.

A new report from rental site ApartmentList showed San Francisco rents increasing 3% in April, climbing to a median of $2,157 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,496 for a two-bedroom. But the rental report out from competitive site Zumper tells a different story — one with another 1.9% median dip in April for one-bedroom apartments and a 0% change for two-bedrooms.

For ApartmentList, this is the third straight month that the company has reported rent increases.

A new report from rental site ApartmentList showed San Francisco rents increasing 3% in April, climbing to a median of $2,157 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,496 for a two-bedroom. 

ApartmentList

“The key takeaway is that the Bay Area rent rebound continues unabated,” said Rob Warnock, research associate at Apartment List. “We’re entering the busy season for the rental market, so price increases are not all that surprising for this time of the year. But pent-up demand from last year’s slow moving season seems to be driving up prices faster than usual. In pre-pandemic years, April typically brings an increase of less than one-half percent. This year, SF rents rose over six times faster than that.”

Still, ApartmentList data shows that San Francisco rents are 19.4% lower than they were at this time last year.

A new report from rental site ApartmentList showed San Francisco rents increasing 3% in April, climbing to a median of $2,157 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,496 for a two-bedroom. 

A new report from rental site ApartmentList showed San Francisco rents increasing 3% in April, climbing to a median of $2,157 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,496 for a two-bedroom. 

ApartmentList

The most affordable place to live, according to Zumper, is Concord, which despite having 1.2% month-over-month growth, has a median price for a one-bedroom of $1,720. The East Bay city also has the second smallest year-over-year rental price change, with only a 2.8% dip since this time last year. Hayward has the smallest overall change, only decreasing 1.6% year-over-year.

Redwood City rent has had the largest decline since last year, with the median price falling 30% since April 2020.


Analysis of Bay Area data shows that Berkeley, with a month-over-month increase of 4.3%, has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, according to ApartmentList. The median two-bedroom there costs $2,162, while one-bedrooms go for $1,684. Rental prices barely grew in April in Oakland, increasing just 0.3%, with a decrease of 14% over the past year. The city still has the least expensive rents in the Bay Area with a two-bedroom median price of $1,931.

With Zumper’s figures, two Bay Area cities fell in the rankings of the most expensive cities to rent in the U.S. San Jose, typically the third most expensive market, dropped to No. 5 with another 2.4% dip this month. Oakland, usually taking the No. 6 spot, fell to No. 7, even with a 1% gain over last month. This implies that it’s actually cheaper to live in Oakland than Los Angeles right now.

Zumper data shows a 1.9% median dip in April for one-bedroom apartments and a 0% change for two-bedrooms.

Zumper data shows a 1.9% median dip in April for one-bedroom apartments and a 0% change for two-bedrooms.

Zumper

“One reason this could be occurring is due to the Bay Area’s labor market skewing towards the tech sector, which is more flexible and adaptable to remote work. Alternatively, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose are still incredibly expensive markets relative to the rest of the country, so renters might not be willing to move in when cheaper, metropolitan options are still available,” the Zumper report said.

Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.3%, but midsize markets continue to experience double-digit growth. Boise, Idaho, has seen a 23% increase in rental prices year-over-year, according to ApartmentList, while Fresno, California, and Spokane, Washington, have both seen a 13% increase year-over year.