Uh oh: Rents creep back up in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland

They were inching down, down, down for months.

But following on reports that job growth has rebounded in the region, Bay Area rents creeped back up in April.

According to a study by the Axiometrics research firm, the region’s three major metropolitan areas — San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland — all showed “positive rent growth” last month. It was the first time since the summer of 2016 that all three metros showed year-over-year rent increases.

Here’s how the numbers lined up:

  • The average rent in the San Francisco metro was $3,298, up 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Occupancy rates were high: 95.2 percent.
  • In the San Jose metro, the average rent was $2,805, up 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Occupancy rates were even higher: 95.6 percent.
  • The average rent in the Oakland metro was $2,424, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier. Oakland’s occupancy rate was the region’s highest: 96.1 percent. (Oakland also showed the biggest month-over-month rent increase from March 2017: $47 on average.)

“The Bay Area markets are recovering from the four-month slump of September to December last year when all three had negative rent growth,” said Jay Denton, vice president of analytics for Axiometrics. “We won’t see double-digit growth in the area again soon, but this could be the start of a more sustainable trend.”

Sustainable for whom, one could ask? It’s all a matter of perspective. For the many low and middle-class wage earners who already are hard-pressed to make their rent, a $47-a-month increase isn’t small change.

This chart shows hows rents have inched back up in the three metros:

Photo: A street sign hangs outside a luxury apartment building on Mission Street in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/AP)


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