Sky-high rental prices are well-known throughout Silicon Valley.
High-paying tech jobs and inventory shortage has pushed rental prices through the roof for years. Yet housing experts and rental sites suggest relief may have arrived.
Rental properties in cities across Santa Clara county have declined in recent months.
Homeowners and property managers are reducing rental prices, thanks to a growing amount of available rental properties.
Also, a growing number of listings on housing sites like Zillow.com stay posted online for months.
“A lot of my homes have been sitting. They can sit for up to two months,” said Leanne Popa, a property manager at RPM Management in San Jose.
Popa manages 110 properties from Gilroy to Los Altos. She says many of her clients have dropped rental prices by $200 to $300, roughly 9 percent of the usual rental cost.
“They think their home is worth more in rent because they saw it six months ago," Popa said. "They saw homes around in their neighborhoods that actually rented for a higher amount and now we’re not seeing that right now."
Popa said that a robust rental housing inventory allows prospective tenants to be more selective.
“Everything is being reduced, so it’s hard," she said. "We have to talk them through it and make sure they understand what the market is right now and the values of rents have gone down.”
One rental property Popa manages in Mountain View has been listed on Zillow for 79 days. The three-bedroom, one bathroom recently-renovated single family home is in a quiet neighborhood just steps from an award-winning school. Yet is hasn’t yet been snatched up.
The home is listed for $4,295 dollars per month.
“I think the price just needs to go down a little bit,” said Popa.
Homeowner Kathleen Wilson has had a similarly challenging time renting her townhome in Mountain View.
Wilson has been renting her three-bedroom, two bathroom property for $4,995 dollars a month since 2014. Yet, for the last two months the property has been vacant as she’s searched for new tenants.
She just reduced the price $400. Days later, Wilson found a renter.
“It’s been a long haul,” she said.
While rental prices haven’t yet fallen to dramatically lower values, rental websites do show a downward trend. Prices typically peak during summer months, when rental activity is usually high, but fall months show a decline.
Real estate website Trulia.com shows falling rental prices and rising inventory in cities throughout Santa Clara county.