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San Francisco rents freeze in first month of 2018

If no news is good news then we’re the happiest renters on earth

January brought a chill to San Francisco and a freeze to its rental market, as four popular online rental platforms report that the median price of a room in the city remained stuck in the first month of 2018, moving hardly at all since the New Year.

Of course, since these are all still the highest figures for new rentals among U.S. cities on the following sites, the lack of upward inertia translates to a cosmic trolling act, but at least no news is, well, good news.

Over on Zumper, it was a “month of stable rents, with the three most expensive one bedroom prices all remaining flat,” which means San Francisco remained mired at a $3,400/month median price on the platform. That’s up 2.7 percent from 2017, but the 2017 median was itself down 5.4 percent from the previous year. On a long enough timeline, this is still a decline.

Of course, on an even longer timeline, it’s an increase of more than 1,000 percent from a previous century when you could rent a room for 50 cents a week, so maybe it’s better to keep out of that rabbit hole.

Competitor ApartmentList broke some good news, noting that in January rents were “down month over month in 60 of [the] 100 largest cities.” Even better news: San Francisco was one of said cities. The rate of decline: 0.2 percent month over month.

Don’t use up all of the celebratory champagne at once now.

Photo by Tam Patra

A single-bedroom apartment on ApartmentList ran $2,390/month in January. Note that this is also up 0.3 percent year over year, which is technically bad news but not quite enough to really matter, continuing the trend of a non-committal January seemingly calibrated to be as unsatisfying as possible.

RENTCafe continued the trend with both the largest median rent figure for a single bedroom apartment at $3,448/month, 0.6 percent increase since December, but down from $3,500.

Only Abodo reported a month-over-month spike of much real significance, as an apartment there jerked up 1.45 percent to $3,293/month, but this is paired with the largest year-over-year decline, as this time last year that same hypothetical apartment cost $3,500/month.

And just for reference, a single-bedroom San Francisco apartment on Craigslist this week averages $3,029/month.