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Median market rent tumbles nine percent since 2016

But expect seasonal increases on the horizon

Apartment buildings on Nob Hill. Paxson Woelber

For months, rent sites have reported steady declines in the median market rent for a home in San Francisco. But it’s been mostly a nickel and dime game.

Today, however, Zumper weighed in with a downright shocking 8.9 percent decline in price between March 1, 2016 and now.

That means that a one-bedroom San Francisco apartment on Zumper averages $3,270/month, which is also a decline of 1.2 percent month over month. That’s $340 more than New York City, America’s second priciest market, but more than a $1,000 more than third place Boston and fourth place San Jose.


On the other hand, competitor ApartmentList says that prices for similar homes on its own site declined only one percent year-over-year and just half a percent since last month, for a median of $3,400/month.

Abodo tops them all, recording a price of $3,500/month in the city on its own platform, also down half a percent month over month. (No year over year figure was provided.)

And RENTCafe, which draws its figures from an outside data agency rather than relying its own internal listings, says prices are down a bit less than once percent since 2016, for $3,378/month total (although that data is now two weeks old).

Prices on most of these sites converged back in December, perhaps inspired by the holiday season into a spirit of cooperation. But since then they’ve split off into their usual kaleidoscope of different perspectives.

Note also two outliers: Trulia consistently provides a low-ball figure for median rents citywide, this time $3,000/month for a single bedroom.

Whereas Rent Jungle brings the doom and gloom with rent figures that are always the highest on any site, in this case $3,871/month for one bed, although RentJungle numbers are always a month behind everyone else’s.

Meanwhile spring is on the way. In the coming months the seasonal trend will almost certainly push price in an upward direction from where they sit now. But at least Zumper brought some good news before then.