As you may have noticed, we follow San Francisco's wild rent prices rather obsessively. San Francisco has been the country's leader for some time in overall rent paid and in growth of rents, and it looks like that growth didn't begin to let up first part of 2015. According to Zillow's Quarter 1 Market Report, rental growth rates in the San Francisco metropolitan area—which includes towns in Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda and San Mateo counties, as well as San Francisco proper—have soared 14.8 percent over the same time last year. That is the biggest growth rate in the country, with San Jose coming in second at 12.3 percent. In San Francisco itself, rents are up even more, with 15.5 percent growth in one year.
The Zillow Rent Index assesses the rental value of all housing stock, not just what happens to be on the market at any given time, in order to take out fluctuations that may occur by looking just at available inventory at a certain point. The Zillow Rent Index for San Francisco (the city itself, not the metro area) currently sits at $4,174, up from $4,021 in January and $3,611 last March.
Growth seems to have slowed a bit in the fourth quarter of 2014, but it picked right back up after the new year with a 3.7 percent increase in one quarter. And, of course, the most depressing statistic of all dates back to 2011, before the current rental market madness had really begun. The Zillow Rent Index for San Francisco back then was just $2,624, a full 59 percent lower than it is today.
· Yikes: SF Closes In on a Year of Median Rents Topping NY's [Curbed SF]
· Q1 Market Reports: Did Anyone Tell Landlords That Slow & Steady Wins the Race? [Zillow]
· San Francisco Home Prices and Values [Zillow]
· Yikes, the Bay Area Leads the Nation in Annual Rent Growth [Curbed SF]
· Forbes: San Francisco Is the Absolute Worst City for Renters [Curbed SF]