Roomies aren’t just a weird quirk of being in your early twenties anymore. With rents soaring and fewer and fewer vacancies, splitting the rent is an absolute necessity for a fairly diverse spectrum of San Franciscans.
New York based financial company SmartAsset released their second annual survey on the dollars and cents results of finding yourself a roomie. The results are no surprise: San Franciscans have the highest financial incentive in the entire country to double up, saving an average of $1,100-plus a month by living together, or over $13,000/year.
For perspective, San Jose came in number three at just over $10,000/year saved, and Oakland number five, with nearly $8,800/year. SmartAsset used data from the site MyApartmentMap. Competing sites Zumper and Apartment list yield similar figures: $12,360 and $13,380, respectively.
Those sums are simply the difference between what you’ll pay at median prices for a single bedroom and splitting the rent 50-50 on a median price two bedroom. ...which is entirely predictable, actually, because of course San Francisco, the city widely agreed to have the highest rents in the country, is also going to be the city where you save the most money by splitting your rent costs.
But this study does highlight the relationship between the price of single and double bedroom homes in US cities, which is a bit more less predictable. Unfortunately, the pricier an apartment in general, the more you’re going to have to pay for an upgrade.
Right now (depending on who you ask), that gap is about $1,370/month in San Francisco, or an increase of 40 percent. In New York City, despite having a similar housing burden, the difference is only a little over 14 percent. But it’s 43 percent in Manhattan, which more closely resembles San Francisco’s market.
The gap does tend to do weird things from city to city, though. In Oakland the gap is 17 percent, and in San Jose over 23 percent, despite San Jose having lower median rents overall this month. The dollar figure separating the two types of units can vary wildly too.
In any case, a roommate makes sense in basically every city in the country right now, and doubly so in the Bay Area. Whether it’s worth the, shall we say, interpersonal quirks you’re liable to run up against is a calculation you’ll have to make yourself.