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COVID Rentals: San Francisco 1-Bedroom Rents Begin 2021 Down 24% From Last Year

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The median rent of a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is down nearly 25% from a year ago, a sign of how much the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Bay Area rental market.

According to real estate website Zumper, the median 1-bedroom rent in San Francisco at $2,660 a month, down 1.5% from December and down a staggering 24% from last January. One year ago, the median one-bedroom rent in San Francisco was $3,500 a month. Two years ago, San Francisco made headlines when the same website found the median 1-bedroom rent in the city soared to nearly $3,700 a month.

Meanwhile, the median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,500 / month, down from $4,500 a year ago, a drop of 22.2%.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, median 1-bedroom rents in San Jose have dropped 14.7% from last year to $2,090 a month. In Oakland, 1-bedroom rents are down 22 percent year-over-year to $1,950/month.

San Francisco rents remained the most expensive in the country, Zumper noted, as other expensive cities such as New York and Boston also experienced large drops since the onset of the pandemic. Rent drops in the priciest markets have been attributed to employees who are able to work remotely finding cheaper areas to move to during the pandemic.

An example of this could be taking place in the Central Valley. Median 1-bedroom rents in Sacramento are up 14% from this time last year, to $1,430/month. In Fresno, the rent for a 1-bedroom is $1,160, which is a 17% jump from a year earlier.

Nationally, the median 1-bedroom rent is $1,224 a month, while the median 2-bedroom rent is $1,491.

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