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San Francisco's Runaway Rents Reach an All-Time High, Again

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Median asking rents in San Francisco first surged past New York's nearly a year ago, and for some time it seemed as if San Francisco would surge away, leaving New York in the dust. However, for the past few months, according to the national rent reports from rental website Zumper, San Francisco has stagnated somewhat while New York has gotten back into the game. That said, San Francisco still has a median asking rent of $3,460 for a one-bedroom that is hundreds of dollars more expensive than New York's, which came in at $3,100 for April. At this point, does New York even have a chance at catching up again? After a slight dip earlier this year, San Francisco's rent has risen 1.8 percent since March, bringing us right back up to February's all-time high.

Rents stayed strong around the entire Bay Area. They have grown 10.3 percent in San Jose in just one quarter, to reach $2,040, meaning that our South Bay neighbor is tied with Washington, DC, as the fourth most expensive city for renters in the country. Over in Oakland, the median rent for a one-bedroom stayed flat month-over-month at $2,000, but that still puts Oakland in the number-six spot nationally, just ahead of Los Angeles.

Manhattan proper still remains more expensive than San Francisco, and neighborhoods like NoMad, Tribeca, and the Flatiron District all top $4,000 per month for a one-bedroom and easily outprice any in San Francisco. The most expensive Bay Area neighborhood continues to be Russian Hill, with a one-bedroom median of $3,830, but its one-bedroom prices were flat month over month and are down by 4.3 percent for the quarter. Two-bedroom prices in Russian Hill are down 18.1 percent over the past quarter. Neighborhoods that saw big monthly jumps included the Mission, where the median one-bedroom rent soared 10 percent over the month before, and Civic Center, where fancy new buildings like 100 Van Ness and One Polk Street are currently renting on Zumper.

As always, Zumper's data is drawn solely from the asking rents for the listings on its site, not all available rentals in San Francisco. Therefore, it isn't a measure of what all San Franciscans are paying, but it does offer one look at prices that prospective renters in the market during April were seeing.

· Yikes: SF Closes in on a Year of Median Rents Topping NY's [Curbed SF]
· Zumper [Official Site]
· Mapping the Median Rent of a One-Bedroom in San Francisco [Curbed SF]
· National Rent Report, April 2015 [Zumper]