Here we go again: Bay Area rents ticked up in June

For a while there, Bay Area renters were starting to feel some relief. In the latter part of 2016, analysts described softening rents and, indeed, a plateau appeared to have emerged early this year.

Oh well. Here we go again.

The cost of renting an apartment crept up in June across the region, according to a new analysis from, a website that tracks the national rental market.

Here are a few highlights:

In San Jose, the median monthly cost of a one-bedroom flat was $2,050, while a two-bedroom went for $2,570. Month-over-month, that spelled a 1.0 percent increase, while the year-over-year increase was 2.2 percent. Read the report here.

In Oakland, a one-bedroom unit typically rented for $1,710 last month, a two-bedroom for $2,150. Month-over-month, the increase was 1.2 percent, while June rents were up 2.8 percent from the year before. Here’s the report.

In San Francisco, a one-bedroom fetched $2,420 and a two-bedroom cost $3,040. There was a small boost of 0.5 percent on a month-over-month basis, but San Francisco’s rents actually were down slightly year-over-year, by 0.6 percent. The report is right here.

If some of these numbers surprise you, that’s because has altered its methodology “to provide more accurate rent estimates and avoid luxury bias in private listings,” explained Andrew Woo, data scientist for the website.

As an example, its December report had indicated a median monthly cost of $4,550 for a two-bedroom flat in San Francisco and $2,500 for a two-bedroom in Oakland. Rents have not tumbled drastically in the time since, Woo explained. In fact, with the exception of San Francisco’s small year-over-year decrease, rents have increased across the region. The latest numbers, however, reflect the website’s adjustment in methodology.

Here are a couple of’s charts showing median rents for cities around the region, first for the San Jose metropolitan area (Santa Clara and San Benito counties) and then for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan area (San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties).

A couple of numbers jumped out at this writer — for instance, one showing that a two-bedroom in Fremont costs more than one in San Francisco, another showing that a two-bedroom in Cupertino is pricier than anywhere else in the region. Woo explained: “In smaller cities, for example, Cupertino, rentals and neighborhoods tend to be more homogeneous, whereas in larger cities like Oakland rents vary more between neighborhoods, often resulting in lower median rents. Additionally, a two-bedroom in Fremont may be more spacious than a two-bedroom in San Francisco, resulting in a higher rent price.”

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




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  • omegatalon

    The Bay Area for the most part is like living on an island.. as there’s only so much real estate which means rent will go up.

  • joe

    In case you don’t know, it is renters that set the rent rates not landlords. A landlord can only rent a unit out at a price that the renter is willing (key word: willing) to pay. If no one is willing to pay over a certain price, the price must come down or the unit will stay vacant.

  • Huh? Prices went down in SF… misleading title.

    Rents are down about 5% – 10%, depending on property in SF. Lots of condo supply now flooding the market.