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Only four Bay Area cities beat California’s median rent

Livermore, Concord, Napa, and Vallejo barely slide in under the bar

A photo of downtown Livermore on a beautiful sunny day.

Real estate site Zumper looked at the median rent on a one-bedroom apartment across 27 Bay Area cities and found that almost nowhere in the nine counties can renters expect to rent a home for less than the California median price.

This is hardly a surprise in San Francisco, where Zumper users can expect to shell out $3,420/month for a modest home, still the highest nationwide (although that price is down from last month and the same time last year, for the record).

But in all, only five cities in the survey managed to dip below the state average of $1,686/month.

And since one of those is Santa Rosa, which really shouldn’t be called part of the Bay Area despite having a regional relationship, that leaves only four Bay Area communities that make the grade as affordable by California standards.

The winners are Livermore ($1,610/month), Concord ($1,600), Napa ($1,600 again), and Vallejo ($1,300).

Brocken Inaglory

Almost certainly not coincidentally, rents are up year over year in three of those places. Only Livermore is down from last year—12 percent, in fact, which is why it’s on the lowest end of the rent scale now to begin with.

Comparing Zumper’s numbers to others can be tricky, as competitor sites ApartmentList and Abodo don’t calculate median rents for cities like Livermore.

Over on RENTCafe a one bedroom home in Concord is $1,891/month and Vallejo $1,761/month, but no word on Napa or Livermore.

On Craigslist this week, a one bedroom home in the Livermore area runs $2,031/month, in Concord it’s $1,760/month, and in Vallejo $1,593/month.

The view from Mare Island in Vallejo.

But the site includes nearby cities in those listings as well, and doesn’t actually feature specific listings for Napa at all.

It’s interesting to note that Zumper, which usually furnishes the highest figures for major urban centers like San Francisco, seems to feature rental stock a bit less expensive than other sites in more far-ranging places like Concord. But it’s hard to draw a definite conclusion from only a few examples.

Be all that as it may, those looking for a price break from life in the city might cast an eye toward places like Vallejo. It’s still not cheap, but you’ll apparently have trouble finding more glistening fortunes anywhere in the Golden State.