Bad news for Bay Area mega-commuters: Sacramento now leads the nation in rent growth

We’ve been hearing about Bay Area mega-commuters for some time now — those poor souls who spend hours on the road each day, commuting from far-away affordable homes or apartments to decent-paying jobs in the Bay Area’s core.

Well, here’s the skinny on two cities where lots of mega-commuters go to bed at night — they’re becoming much less affordable. In fact, a new survey by the RentCafe website shows that Sacramento leads the nation in annual rent growth, with a 12.2 percent spike from December 2015 to December 2016.  No. 2 in the nation is Stockton — yes, Stockton, where year-over-year rent growth was 10.6 percent.

The average rent in Sacramento is now $1,193. In Stockton, it’s $991.

People must be starting to wonder: Is it worth the commute?

For the time being, yes.

After Manhattan, San Francisco remains the nation’s costliest market for renters; the average apartment there runs $4,144, according to RentCafe. San Jose is the sixth-costliest market, with an average of $2,549, while Oakland is seventh costliest, with an average of $2,448.

Still, it’s interesting to note how the winds have shifted.

San Jose’s rental market was stone flat over the last year — a 0.0 percent change in average rents, the new report says, meaning no change at all.

In San Francisco, rents dropped 0.9 percent over the last year. In the previous year, they grew by 9 percent, and in the year previous to that by 13 percent.

Boosted by a continuing spillover from across the bay, Oakland rents were up 4.7 percent year-over-year, though that represents a cooling, too.

You can read the report here. Among other things, it notes that December rents were down nationally for the fourth straight month and that the nation’s cheapest big city for renters is Wichita, Kansas, where the average rent is $631.

Photo: California’s State Capitol building in Sacramento. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

 

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  • hoapres

    It’s time to STOP h1bs and hire Americans.

    Problem solved.

  • Frank N

    Local governments resist allowing residential development because commercial development brings them more tax money. Let someone else worry about where workers will live. We need to somehow change that perverse incentive. Raise residential taxes? Systemic reform to property tax law, removing distortions introduced by Proposition 13, while preserving the aspects which discouraged wanton government spending and confiscatory tax levels? State or regional legislation mandating residential development? High quality high speed mass transit wisely implemented (not as a boondoggle)?

    Silicon Valley has one of the world’s best and strongest economies. Its productivity in science, technology, innovation, and business are incredible. We just need to better manage housing and transportation. NYC just opened their brand new Second Avenue subway line. Surely we can do as well, though our geology is not as amenable to subways.

 
 
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