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Belated good news: Summer season fails to heat up San Francisco rents

Stagnation blunts this year’s seasonal spike

         By Xela Person

Summertime usually brings rental prices to a boil. But with August coming to an end, the San Francisco numbers on major rent platforms look a bit tepid.

Zumper declares that, on its platform, a one-bedroom San Francisco apartment is now $3,390/month, down a little less than one percent from last month and one and a half percent since the same time last year.

Back in January the same figure on the same site was $3,310/month.

On competitor site Abodo, such a home costs $3,240/month, up just one percent from last month.

No word on the year-over-year since this time last year Abodo didn’t record a median San Francisco rent, but since January the number is down from $3,500/month.

RENTCafe reports $3,349/month, although that number is a few weeks out of date as RENTCafe updates their figures a bit later than other sites most months.

That’s flat from the previous month, down 1.3 percent since last year, and up only seven dollars from the beginning of the year.

Of course, there’s also ApartmentList, which estimates a much lower single-bedroom rent—$2,440/month, up half a point this month and 0.8 percent from last year—based on what it says is a better formula that yields numbers much closer to what renters actually pay.

         By GagliardiImages

The hottest streak might be on Craigslist of all places. The average one-bedroom San Francisco home this week rents for $2,900/month. This time last month it was $2,800, a spike of about 3.4 percent.

While prices are technically up, there’s not much to see here—which might be good news as the autumn and winter seasons look to push rents down, at least to whatever degree that’s possible.

On another note, last month Zumper took umbrage to competitor Apartmentlist’s claims that it crunches some crunchier numbers when calculating rents. The formner published a piece defending its methods, which it claims account for “over one million active listings”:

This is a different approach from what other providers calculate which may be adjusted to reflect what renters are currently paying rather than reflect the open market. Our reports [...] give renters the best picture of what they should expect to pay if they were to rent today.

But median rents have always been a moving target. With the exception of RENTCafe (which garners its numbers from an independent data firm), these numbers only reflect what’s listed on these particular sites. Such figures are always guideposts, not gospels.

         By AnjelikaGr