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Winter continues to cool off San Francisco’s rental market

A seasonal downturn never looked so good

The San Francisco skyline at night, as seen from the bay on an overcast day with city lights reflecting off the clouds. Engel Ching

While all of last year’s rental ups and downs only saved the average new renter about $80 per month, maybe early 2017 can add a few extra dollars to that total. Rental site Zumper reports that the price of a single-bedroom home in San Francisco declined more than one percent in January (and is down nearly 5.5 percent compared to last year), to $3,310/month.

Competitor ApartmentList chimed in with a figure of their own as well—specifically, $3,420/month, a slight appreciation since the new year, but still down 1.5 percent compared to 2016.

Abodo records the highest rent of the three at $3,500/month, also up about half a point over four weeks. Although those creeping increases aren’t welcome, they’re small enough that they may be statistical noise, so nobody panic yet.

And even though San Francisco remains one of the most expensive cities in America for market rent prices, the gap between San Francisco and New York now lies between $200-$400—potentially surmountable.

(Abodo’s New York median rent is less than $2,800, but that includes an area larger than New York City itself.)

Meanwhile, property management tech outfit AppFolio adds a little extra perspective, pointing out in a new report that while San Francisco’s (admittedly astronomical rents) ticked down, median income has kept jumping up.

AppFolio contends that an apartment in the city runs less than $3,200—one of the lowest figures anyone has reported in years, and an outlier this month—while the median income swells to over $6,800.

Which makes San Francisco, in their eyes, only the fourth least affordable major city in the U.S., behind New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.