Is rent finally becoming more affordable?
We surely hope so. Rent prices in the San Francisco Bay Area are notoriously high. Rent is so high that it has become cheaper to live in The Big Apple in recent years which, frankly, is a little mind boggling.
Fortunately, experts are starting to see drops in rent prices. In Realtor.com reports comparing national rent decreases for studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, San Francisco topped all three lists.
According to the report, median rent prices for studios in September saw a drop of a whopping 31% to $2,285 compared with last year, the highest drop in the nation. For one-bedroom units, the median price went down 24.2% to $2,873, and two-bedroom apartments saw a drop of 21.3% to $3,931.
Santa Clara and San Mateo were also in the top four for all three apartment sizes. In fact, even compared with statistics from earlier this year, rent across the board is cooling down. For one-bedroom apartments, for example, rent prices in March were declining year-over-year in 6 of the largest 100 counties in the U.S. – in September, that statistic rose to declines in 36 counties.
Why is this happening?
In short, because Covid. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Realtor.com senior economist George Ratiu explained that the pandemic has had an enormous impact on remote work policies. Now that many people are working from home, it’s not as necessary to live close to your workplace.
“What we’re seeing is really the move away from high cost, particularly in urban downtowns, toward the suburbs and toward affordability,” he said. “A good number of companies, and San Francisco is the leader in this, recognize the tremendous burdens, and tech companies were some of the first to announce extended remote work policies into next year.”
Ratiu commented that, as many companies have started to see the value and viability of remote work policies, he thinks the decrease in rent prices will continue in the San Francisco rental market. He predicts that many companies will start to allow employees to spend part of their week at home or working remotely and the other part in the office.
[Featured image: Hardik Pandya via Unsplash]