Rents Actually Dropping in San Francisco

Vacancy rate rises as rents drop significantly

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Mar 30, 2009  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Rents Actually Dropping in San Francisco

Eric Castro

Rents really are dropping, though not necessarily to "ditch the Mission squat for a luxury highrise" levels quite yet.

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With many San Franciscans are leaving the city to look for opportunities and cheaper living elsewhere, and few new residents replacing them, many landlords are struggling to fill empty units.

"We’re running a vacancy rate which is unheard of in San Francisco," executive director Janan New of the San Francisco Apartment Association told the San Francisco Examiner.

"Rents are dropping by $200 citywide," she added.

That means for those who are staying (and still have a job), it might be time to look elsewhere and talk to your landlord.

Many larger buildings that cater to more upscale customers are offering perks like free parking or a month of free rent upon signing a lease.

Even if you don't want to move, looking for a new place to live at a discount means bargaining power when negotiating a rent reduction from your landlord.

In San Francisco, around 65 percent of the population rents, and while the job market is bad, it's slightly less bad than the rest of the state.

Speaking from experience, it might be just enough to tip the scales for anyone with dreams of moving here.

If you come to San Francisco, wear flowers in your hair. And get ready to start complaining about Muni. Photo by Eric Castro.

Jackson West moved to The City during the dot-bomb.

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