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SF rents close 2016 on a downward trend

Price decline beats last year’s dip


If your big holiday wish last year was lower rent this year (and, let’s face it, it should have been), we can now confirm that your dreams have finally come true.

In their last national rent report for 2016, apartment site Zumper estimates that San Francisco’s median market rent (based on their own listings) rounded out to $3,330/month for one bedrooms and $4,500/month for two bedrooms.

Competitor ApartmentList provides their own medians of $3,390 and $4,570.

RENTCafe won’t release their November estimates until later this month, but they most recently recorded a median of $3,399, which corroborates other reports.

RentJungle (also a month behind) projects $3,373 for one-bed apartments. Trulia, which tends to offer a lower figure than other sites, guesses $2,300.

Rental site Abodo only reports on those markets with the largest spikes and drops in a month, which didn’t include San Francisco this time around.

But statistics wiki Numbeo lists $3,358 as the average rent for most one bedrooms in the city, and cost of living site Expat says $3,404.

The good news is that almost all of these figures add up to a year-over-year decline, ranging from 0.5 to as much as 6.8 percent.

(The big exception is RENTCafe, which shows a 0.8 percent hike. But we can hold out hope that their November/December figures might push that down.)

In fact, hopping aboard the WayBack Machine, we’re now $60 cheaper than Zumper’s December 2014 average for one-bed pads and $150 for two-bed apartments.

That seems to be a fluke, though, as non-Zumper data sets record similar but slightly lower rents two years ago. This would make 2016 only the second-most expensive year for median market rent in San Francisco.

Sometimes it pays to come in second.

For the record, the U.S. Census estimated that 2014’s actual median rent (including old leases and rent control stock not reflected in the market prices listed on sites like the ones listed above) was just over $1,530/month.

Nickolay Stanev