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2019 Outlook for the San Francisco Rental Market


As always, California continues to be a hot housing market. San Francisco has the second highest rent prices in the United States with an average of $3,579 per month.

California continues to see growth in the real estate market and a continued trend of raising prices.

Whether you live here now or are planning to move here in 2019, the outlook for the San Francisco rental market is clear. Here is a look at the bigger picture coming into the new year.

Increasing Rent Prices

According to a report by Zumper, rent increased by 2% for both one bedroom and two bedroom apartments in October this year. This caused the rent to become the highest it’s been since 2015.

Bay Area market prices and trends continue to see an increase throughout each neighborhood. A projected look at 2019 shows prices steadily continuing that increase.

Rent Control vs. New Units

While you look through different units you should pay close attention to rent-controlled units and regular rental units. Rent controlled units mandate that the landlord can only increase your rent by a certain amount each year.

In San Francisco, rent-controlled units were built before June 13, 1979. This means any new buildings will not be subject to the mandate– landlords are then able to increase your rent by any amount at any time with the proper notice.

This does not mean rent-controlled units are more affordable, however. As 2019 approaches, you will find over 60,000 of the estimated 160,000 units at rates that are not affordable to the average family.

Pricing by Neighborhood and Unit Size

Rent Cafe put together a detailed look at the Bay Area rental market by neighborhood and unit size.

According to their study and projections for 2019, the most affordable neighborhoods are:

  • Hayes Valley
  • Tenderloin
  • Van Ness
  • Downtown District 8
  • Western Addition
  • Marina

The most expensive areas for renters are:

  • Presidio Heights
  • South Beach
  • Mission Bay

Collectively, many rental sites are predicting increases for studio and one-bedroom units in particular.

Supply and Demand in the San Francisco Rental Market

The San Francisco housing market saw a lot of development in 2018 which is predicted to continue in 2019 thanks to tax breaks.

The demand for housing and apartment units, regardless of the rent, is one thing the Bay Area will not have to worry about. Steady demand remains a constant in 2018 going into 2019.

Oakland is expecting to see some major development within the next few years. This will also bring forth more rental units that will be available to meet the expanding demand.

Finding the Right Unit for You

When you decide you want to move to a new unit in the Bay Area or if you are planning on moving to the Golden State keep track of these trends.

The changes in the San Francisco rental market change month to month. As 2019 approaches, expect to see increases in rent prices in both rent-controlled and new rental units.

Looking for a new place? Contact Ray Amouzandeh to discuss the best options for you. You can also learn more about our services, here!