MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Mountain View is now the city in the Bay Area with the highest median rent for a one bedroom apartment, according to new data from Zumper.
The latest market analysis revealed the median rent for a one bedroom apartment in Mountain View is $3,660, which is a jump of around 25% year-over-year. That's about $600 more than the median one bedroom rent in San Francisco.
"Really, the two biggest things are the return to the office policies and the supply that's hitting the market is more luxury," said Crystal Chen, a Zumper spokesperson. "I think the national one bedroom is up 1-2 percent. So, comparing Mountain View's 25 percent to the national rate of 1-2 percent, it does show that it is rising so much more."
Alex Nunez, who is nearing ten years as a renter in Mountain View, says this situation isn't sustainable.
"I don't think it's good for the city of Mountain View, the people who live here, to have rents that are anywhere near the highest median in our region," he said. "The higher that rents go and post for -- whether it's new housing or not -- it's just going to set a new and worsening precedent for the base entry level that it costs to move into a place like Mountain View."
Even though there are a lot of high-paying tech jobs in Mountain View, Nunez says people are having to make serious sacrifices to stay in the area.
"People are making trade-offs that most people would find difficult to do themselves," he said.
Nunez and his wife live in a building that is under Mountain View's rent stabilization rules because it was built before 1995 so they don't have to pony up the type of cash that those who live in newer buildings must. If for some reason they had to move and find a new place to rent, Nunez says he thinks they'd be able to figure out a way to stay because they're a dual-income household but he admits it would be a stretch.
"The bigger issue, the one that pains me the most, is thinking about a lot of the people who have no choice but to stay here -- whether for medical reasons, family reasons -- who aren't having high-income jobs and have no other recourse than to make very difficult sacrifices to stay."
Chen says the market dynamics could change again.
"This year is supposed to be a record number of available inventory hitting the market across the U.S.," she said. "Hopefully that'll ease up on some of the rising rents, especially by the end of this year."
Nunez says Mountain View -- really, the region -- needs more forms of housing.
"People's wages have not kept up with the amount that it costs to afford housing," he said. "The affordability of new housing is far beyond what a naturally competitive market should be sustaining."
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