Average Rents In Bernal Heights Climb 65% In One Year

Bernal Heights is famous and glamorous, and that’s generally a good thing; With our so-hot-right-now reputation comes new amenities, new accolades, and VIP invitations to all the right parties. But there are also downsides to our celebrity status, and increased housing costs are one of them. Specifically, the rents are too damn high — and they’re getting higher.

Our real estate-obsessed friends at CurbedSF bring the jaw-dropping news that the average price of rental housing in Bernal Heights increased by 65 percent during the last year:

Now, there’s room to quibble with this analysis, which was conducted by LiveLovely, an apartment-hunting website. As one sharp commenter on CurbedSF points out: “The people who did this survey need a basic course in statistics. You cannot compare without taking into account the size, the area (of the unit), etc. A new construction with a dozen apartments on the high end can quickly skew the stats.”

Quite true. On the other hand, Bernal’s housing stock has remained largely unchanged, and as a basic benchmark, the +65% figure probably feels anecdotally right to anyone who has looked for rental housing in Bernalwood recently. Ouch, indeed.

IMAGES: via CurbedSF

15 thoughts on “Average Rents In Bernal Heights Climb 65% In One Year

  1. But since we have rent control they can only raise it by 2% a year for an existing tenant, right? Something should be done about the rents they’re allowed to charge for both old and new renters.

    • Not entirely. Single-family homes and condos are not covered by rent control unless you moved in prior to 1996. And increases can be as high as 7% if the landlord can show increased operating costs to justify it, or 10% if there have been improvements to the property. And landlords can bank prior years’ increases, so if they didn’t raise rents for 5 years (e.g., during a slump), they can hit you with all 5 years’ worth of increase at once. The good news is that the increase rate is tied to inflation so it’s usually even lower than 2%.

  2. I’ve been monitoring the market pretty closely and it looks pretty intense with one bedrooms going for $2200.

  3. This outrage needs to stop or it will be all for the rich/ ni more for the average person/ simple family persons

    • Exactly. How do you plan to stop this outrage? Would you rather have it the other way? where no one WANTS to live in Bernal or other nice neighborhoods and it becomes full of vacancies? San Francisco is desirable, that’s the bottom line. Desire brings demand and demand drives up the price. That’s the market.

  4. Totally disregard until the actual data is shown. Averages are terrible indicators of this kind of thing, and I really wonder how large a sample size we’re seeing here. I just don’t buy the idea that a year ago, a typical apartment rented for $1700 and now it is $2700. Or, just like at Chinatown. $4000 a month versus under $2000 a year ago? These just do not look like valid observations of what things really cost.

  5. I haven’t done any statistical analysis, but this info confirms my gut sense. I regularly scan the craigslist apartment ads (I know, too much time on my hands) and have seen a dramatic increase in prices in the last two years in Bernal compared to other neighborhoods. You know, those crime infested areas of urban blight such as Pac Heights, Nob Hill, the Marina etc. Although counteracting greed, gentrification and market forces is probably a losing battle, I don’t think we should just “give in” and say, “it’s unavoidable.” There is plenty that can still be done. For example, fighting foreclosures means that older families will stay in the neighborhood and properties won’t be turned over to more affluent buyers who will then feel the need to charge $2k-$3k per month for that in law apartment.

    On a separate note, also from my time wasted scanning craigslist, it seems to me that the number of rentals that won’t allow pets is so much higher in Bernal than other neighborhoods, which I’ve always found weird given what an animal friendly community we are. Any thoughts on that?

    • Doesn’t this just protect existing renters/owners by raising a larger barrier to entry for newcomers, though? I’m 27 and have been saving for as long as I’ve been working in the hopes of buying a house sometime in my mid-30s, but it’s seeming increasingly less likely that it’ll be possible.

      I could totally be wrong on this, but it feels like this type of action is only helping the uber-rich and the longtime residents while making it basically impossible for anyone else to afford it.

    • Glad someone else mentions the idea of supply. Price is an outcome of Supply and Demand!

      A while ago, I saw an article with a plan to expand the population of San Francisco dramatically. The main thrust was that we’d build tall, high density condos and apartments along major transportation corridors (think about Mission Street and Geary, for instance).

      I tended to agree with the concept, as I think that many of our social services (and most notably, public transportation) could be improved if we had a greater need (and tax base) to improve them. I sometimes feel that San Francisco is an awkwardly small size (by population).

  6. Something is wrong with the data for Seacliff. How is it possible for last year’s average rent to have been $1,725? This is lower than Crocker Amazon!

  7. I still rent my two bedroom apartment in Bernal Heights for $700 a month to a guy because he WONT MOVE. I’m stuck and losing every month due to rent control. I hope landlords get every penny they can while they can. Maybe one day I will get something.

  8. I am a native of Bernal, since 1963. While I like the new paint going up, I thought it was better back in the day. We did not lock the door ever, and no one robbed us, cause we had very little to rob. I miss the dirt roads, and the ample Blackberries. My dog was never on a leash. The human diversity makes me who I am today. Ah, Bernal were did you go?
    Our home was bought for $10,000.00, and our neighborhood was ethnically diverse. By the way, it is not BERNALWOOD, it is Bernal. I miss my Bernal.

    My advice to those who cannot buy or rent; Go to Oakland, and buy in a place that is a little funky; Oakland is cool, and California is gold one day within your lifetime. Muah, RED

    Signed, Old School native

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