Bernal Heights 1BR Apartment Rental Prices Double In Three Years


*sigh* This is not the sort of news Bernalwood likes to share, yet share it we must — because it is happening whether we like it or not.

Or rather, it happened. You see, during the last three years, the price of a one-bedroom apartment rental in Bernal Heights has doubled.

According to the number-crunchers at Pricenomics, between 2011 and 2014, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment rental in Bernal rose by 101%, from $1683 to $3390. In fact, during that same period, median one-bedroom apartment rental prices in Bernal Heights rose the most of any neighborhood in San Francisco. Oy:


This is not the kind of We’re Number One we wish to be associated with.

In absolute terms, 1BR rentals in Bernal are also on the spendy side, ranking fifth overall citywide —  higher even than Noe, Nob Hill, and Pac Heights. Oh my:


Why is it happening? Blame our innate awesomeness, combined with very limited rental supply and very favorable geography. In other words, Econ 101.

As Pricenomics explains:

The San Francisco real estate market is, technically speaking, muy caliente. If you’ve looked for an apartment recently, or follow our blog, you know that rental prices have exploded and small homes sell for more than Detroit skyscrapers. San Francisco is a beautiful place, with a bustling economy that has drawn tens of thousands of new residents over the past few years. But the supply of housing is relatively fixed as large swathes of the city aren’t zoned for the type of high density housing that could accommodate the increased demand. So the price of housing has increased.

For us in particular, Pricenomics says:

Proximity to the highways and shuttle buses that take tech workers south to companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple is also reorienting the real estate landscape. Living in neighborhoods like Bernal Heights or Portero was once (arguably) like living in a backwater, but these commuting-friendly areas are now expensive and popular.

ALL CHARTS: from Pricenomics

11 thoughts on “Bernal Heights 1BR Apartment Rental Prices Double In Three Years

  1. I’d say the reason for this is more likely to be that Bernal is mainly single family residential with a few condos sprinkled in and the odd apartment building. The sample size on 1 bedrooms in Bernal compared to the Castro or Hayes Valley is really tiny. More to do with statistics than economy I think.

  2. Looking at Craig’s List recently, it seemed like you could rent a 2 BD house in Bernal for $3.5-$4K. So I was also thinking the results might be skewed by the small number of 1BD apts. in Bernal.

    • Looking into the details on the Pricenomics website, the median price for a 2 BD apt in Bernal is $3525 so it certainly sounds reasonable a small number of atypical 1 BD apt listings are skewing the data. It would be nice if the 25%, 75%, and number of listings were also reported to give better confidence that the “data crawling” generates numbers that are truly indicative of the rental market. Regardless, housing is getting more expensive, particularly in areas historically considered relatively affordable.

  3. Just some nighttime research to compare with these numbers. As of this evening there are five 1BRs listed for rent in Bernal on CL. More results than this turn up, but some are duplicates and one is actually in the Mission.
    Monthly rents for these five apartments are: $2500, $3250, $2500, $3400, and $2900. So that’s a median of $2900 and a mean of $2910.
    With all the usual caveats about a small sample size, that’s about 14% less than the $3390 estimate.
    IMHO, the “true” average 1BR rent isn’t as important as the rate of change. Rental prices generally go up with time, but not at the rate we’re seeing. It’s unsettling and SF has the collective bends as a result.

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