Watch CBS News

New York City Rents Top San Francisco Amid COVID Pandemic Economic Rebound

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- There was a time when the average cost of rentals in San Francisco soared over such other desired locations as New York City and Paris.

But then the COVID pandemic struck and rents tumbled as remote tech workers fled to more affordable locales. Still, San Francisco ranked as the priciest rental market in the United States. That is until now.

According to national rental giant Zumper, New York City has now edged ahead of San Francisco if only by the cost of a cross-city Uber ride.

In August, Zumper found that a median one-bedroom in New York City would cost you $2,810 while in San Francisco it's $2,800.

"It's a momentous shift, as San Francisco has been the most expensive rental market in the United States since Zumper started tracking this data in 2014," the company said in a press release.

Zumper officials said that NYC rent prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels. In early 2019, median one-bedroom rent in San Francisco was more than $800 above New York City.

But that doesn't mean rents aren't once again on the rise in the San Francisco Bay Area. Zumper's research found that rents were up 4.5 percent in San Francisco compared to January 2021 although that remains down by 20 percent relative to March 2020.

"San Francisco and New York were the two most affected cities at the outset of the pandemic, as renters left both cities in droves and prices plummeted," the company said in a news release. "But New York has rebounded much more quickly since the vaccine rollout, as indoor dining and other urban amenities that make the city popular became available again."

Two other top 10 markets were located in the Bay Area -- San Jose at No. 4 at $2,200 and Oakland at No. 7 at $2,000.

Zumper's report also found that rent prices were rising at alarming rates across the country. Nationwide, median one-bedroom rent is up 9.2 percent year-over-year; two-bedrooms are up 11 percent.

The top 10 markets for the cost of a one bedroom apartments in order were:

  • 1.) New York -- $2,810
  • 2.) San Francisco -- $2,800
  • 3.) Boston --$2,300
  • 4.) San Jose -- $2,200
  • 5.) Washington, DC -- $2,160
  • 6.) Los Angeles -- $2,050
  • 7.) Oakland -- $2,000
  • 7.) San Diego --$2,000
  • 9.) Miami, Fla. -- $1,880
  • 10.) Santa Ana -- $1,830
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.