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Breaking Down SF's Big Annual Rent Increase by Neighborhood

Last week, we got the unwelcome news that the median rent in San Francisco had risen to a heart-stopping $4,225 in April, according to data from rental website Zillow. That is 16 percent higher than the same time last year. Zillow has mapped rent increases around the Bay Area, showing San Francisco's growth relative to its neighbors (and the city is not even close to places like Belvedere and Berkeley, both of which have seen 30+ percent growth in rents.) But, not surprisingly, the rise in rent hasn't been uniform across all parts of San Francisco itself. Some neighborhoods have seen rents go up more than 25 percent, while others have experienced more modest rises of 10 percent or so. Zillow dug deeper into their data to provide a list of the neighborhoods where rent has risen the most and the least over the past year.

Coming out on top is Jordan Park–Laurel Heights, which has seen a 30.1 percent year-over-year change and now boasts a median rent of $6,872. The Financial District has seen the second-biggest rise in the city, with a 27.1 percent increase in one year and a median rent of $6,231, followed closely by Forest Knolls at 26.4 percent and $5,032. Finishing out the top five are Ingleside Terrace, with 26.3 percent, and the Lake district with a 26.2 percent jump. The neighborhoods in the top-five list are spread out all over the city. The only thing that they seem to have in common is that they are less famed than spots like the Marina, the Mission, and Pacific Heights, so perhaps rents are surging as they these previously lesser-known places are being "discovered."

On the other end of the spectrum are neighborhoods like Lone Mountain, which is right next to Laurel Heights but has seen the lowest rent increases in the city. Rents there went up just 9.6 percent over the past year to land at a median of $4,863. It is joined by Van Ness-Civic Center and Outer Parkside, which both saw 10.1 percent increases to end at $3,791 and $4,701, respectively. North Beach rents went up just 10.8 percent, and Central Sunset saw only an 11 percent increase. Like the top five neighborhoods, the bottom five, with the exception of North Beach, aren't especially well known, so perhaps that theory about lesser-known neighborhoods getting discovered is all wrong. Or, maybe those neighborhoods that didn't see big rent rises last year are about to go through their own major growth spurts.

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 data is also geared towards explaining what renters looking for a new place to live would pay in rent now, not what those already in their homes pay.

· San Francisco's Median Rent Climbs to a Whopping $4,225 [Curbed SF]
· Zillow [Official Site]
· San Francisco Market Overview: Rentals [Zillow; PDF]