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Peninsula rent prices dip since 2016

But they’re still some of the priciest in the Bay Area—and the country

An aerial photo of Redwood City.
Redwood City and beyond.
Sundry Photography

It’s a real bad news, semi-good news situation when it comes to renting in the Bay Area these days.

Rental site Zumper released some figures this week comparing Bay Area cities in terms of median rents compared to one another and to the same time last year. The results—rents are down significantly year over year almost everywhere.

While Mountain View—second only to San Francisco in price at $3,060/month for a one-bedroom apartment—remains dead flat compared to July 2016, third place Redwood City is down 10.5 percent ($2,970/month). And fourth place Palo Alto ($2,720/month) is down 1.8 percent year over year.

Moving up the peninsula, South San Francisco and Burlingame are both down as well ($2,410/month, minus 10.7 percent and $2,350/month, minus 13.9 percent respectively). Daly City ($2,270/month) is up, but by less than one percent.

But it’s not encouraging new all around. Milipitas, Sunnyvale, and San Mateo all show significant spikes compared to last year’s Zumper numbers.

Palo Alto.
Sundry Photography

(Milpitas comes in tenth place with a $2,420/month median for a one-bedroom, which is up 5.7 percent. Sunnyvale is in sixth place, up 3.1 percent to $2,680/month. And San Mateo went up 2.8 percent to $2,610/month, ranking seventh place.)

However, the mean change among cities between San Francisco and San Jose is negative 2.28 percent year over year.

The bad news is that, as always, numbers from a single rental platform have to be approached cautiously. Since Zumper limits its sample size to just the listings on Zumper, some of the big swings might just be distortions.

For example, while the site presently features 385 one-bedroom apartments for San Francisco, it has just 37 for Mountain View and just 16 for Redwood City and just 10 for Palo Alto. Not a very deep well.

For comparison, the median single-bedroom rent for each of those cities this week on Craigslist this week is $3,100 in SF (from 1,669 ads), $2,795 in Mountain View (from 155 ads), $2,598 in Redwood City (from 103 ads), and $2,495/month in Palo Alto (from 62 ads). But note that that’s not a scientific sampling either.

Mountain View
Lynn Y