Making It in the Bay

Pandemic, Recession Continue to Drive Drop in Bay Area Rent Prices

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The Bay Area rental market, which has long been among the most expensive in the nation, is now seeing the steepest drops in the nation.

Sky-high rental prices have dropped due to a combination of the pandemic, the recession and so many people no longer needing to live where they work.

Over the last year, Apartment List said the median San Francisco rental price dropped by 20% -- well below $3,000 a month.

What about prices in San Jose and Oakland? They are down about 10%.

But there is a catch.

"I think it's worthwhile to look around, especially now that things are going down to see if there's better options, whether its perks or directly with rent," said Anton Molodetsky, a renter in San Jose.

Igor Popov, a chief economist with Apartment List, said inventory is still very tight for people earning medium and below incomes.

"It's still hard to find affordable units in San Francisco, and will probably continue to be that way for some time," Popov said.

That's because the biggest drops are largely on the higher end rentals. So, for now, this price drop is not helping everyone equally.

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