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Rents Climb in Oakland Ahead of Moratorium; San Francisco Holds Steady

Bay Area has three of five most expensive markets nationwide

The good news: Rents in San Francisco stayed mostly level last month. The bad news: Still the priciest in the nation.

That’s the word from rental site Zumper, which released its monthly rent report. We’ve got our customary spot on top with an average rent of $3,590 for a one-bedroom apartment. New York City took its equally customary number two slot at $3,340. And Boston (where rents are still high but have largely stabilized these days) gets the bronze at $2,310.

Oakland managed to climb a bit to $2,280 a month on average, though it remains in fourth place. Not only is that number an all-time high for the city, but the spike of 14 percent for the year so far is the highest of any American city. Oakland city hall recently put a 90-day freeze on most rent hikes, although under state law that doesn’t apply to units built in the last 30 years, so it’ll be interesting to see how next month’s numbers play out.

San Jose, tied with Oakland the previous month, is now solidly in fifth place at $2,270. With three out of five of the most expensive rental markets in the country forming a distinct triangle of South Bay, East Bay, and San Francisco, we shouldn’t be surprised to see landlords particularly upbeat these days. Why, they may even spontaneously bursts into song.

(If you were curious, the value of these city’s various rent gaps as measured by steaks, lattes, and black market abalone is mostly unchanged over 30 days. And by the way, what are you paying for rent these days?)

Of the top 50 markets by population, the cheapest California rent is in Fresno, averaging at $770 a month. The cheapest nationwide is, as usual, Wichita, Kansas, still holding strong at $450 a month. There, the average home is worth $106,400, and you could rent nearly eight market-rate houses in Wichita for the price of living in San Francisco.