Bay Area Rentals See a Long Awaited Drop in Rents

Property management san francisco bay area

Last month, one-bedroom apartments in Oakland experienced a significant decline in rental prices at a 7.2% drop compared to the previous year, marking the most substantial drop among the 100 largest cities in the United States, according to data from Apartment List.

The median rent for a one-bedroom unit in Oakland stood at $1,430 in September, the city’s lowest rental rate since at least 2017, and more than $100 lower than the rental price for last year.

The price drop extended to the broader San Francisco metropolitan area, where there was a smaller year-over-year decrease of 4.3%, putting median rents for a one-bedroom at $2,269.

San Francisco has faced many challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic, as the downtown area has experienced a retail exodus and ongoing homelessness crisis. However, rent declines are also affecting other major metropolitan areas.

  • In September median rent for a one-bedroom unit in Oakland reached its lowest point since at least 2017.
  • San Francisco and Portland are facing similar challenges in conjunction with retail exodus and crime issues.
  • Sun Belt cities like Austin are also seeing a decline in rental growth

In September, Portland’s rental growth declined by 5.5% compared to the previous year with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment standing at $1,223 — down from about $1,290 in 2022. Like San Francisco, Portland has grappled with crime-related challenges and retail exodus. Last month, Nike announced it would announce a permenante closure of a factory store in Portland due to ongoing theft. Other retailers like Walmart and REI have also announced they would shut down stores in the area this year.

Another major city that experienced rent decline was Austin, with a 6.4% drop compared to September 2022. Austin’s significant drop comes after its rapid increase in home building permits in 2022, the fastest of any U.S. city, which has created an imbalance of too much supply and decreasing demand.