Apartment Rents Down Citywide in 2016, But Rising in Bernal Heights


The median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco declined by 4.9 percent in 2016, but the opposite was true in Bernal Heights, where rents spiked 9 percent. That’s according to data compiled by the real estate site Zumper,

Citywide, rents may have reached the limits of what people are willing (or able) to pay, as the construction of additional market-rate housing combined with a slowdown in tech hiring combined to put downward pressure on rents in pricier parts of San Francisco. Yet the rent is still too damn high, so San Francisco renters have apparently been looking for more affordable options in other parts of the city — such as Bernal Heights.

Kevin Truong from the San Francisco Business Times explains:

Even with the decline this year, the city sits firmly in the top spot when it comes to the most expensive rental market in the country, with its $3,300 median 1-bedroom rents beating out New York City by $300.

Falling rents were seen in previous high-flying neighborhoods in the city’s Northeast like Nob Hill, which was down 6 percent. The biggest drop in rental prices was seen in the NoPa neighborhood, which is down 9 percent since last year and Noe Valley which dropped 8 percent. Other neighborhoods seeing major median rent price declines include Ashbury Heights, Civic Center and Nob Hill.

“Overall, the priciest neighborhoods seem to have hit a price ceiling that renters are willing to pay,” the Zumper report said.

The data also traced a shift from the most expensive San Francisco neighborhoods like SOMA, Downtown, and Pacific Heights, to the outer, and less expensive, areas of the city, like Bayview, Bernal Heights, and the Outer Richmond.

Zumper adds that Bernal saw the second-highest increase in median rents this year:

The only neighborhood with double digit rent growth this December was Bayview, up 11.5% since this time last year. Bernal Heights (+9%), Western Addition (+9%), and Haight Ashbury (7%) had the next fastest growing rents.

GRAPHIC: via Zumper

13 thoughts on “Apartment Rents Down Citywide in 2016, But Rising in Bernal Heights

  1. I would guess Bernal might have more volatility in its number than some of the other neighborhoods, due to a smaller number of rental units. A few units more or a few units less on the market could make a big difference.

  2. Was walking around the Castro, noticing the cavernous and cold chain stores replacing the businesses that’ve been there for decades. I hate this goddamn soulless city.

  3. Remember the good old days of the early 90’s, when no one would have ever allowed a Gap store on the corner of Haight and Ashbury? Or a Ben & Jerry’s? I mean, I get it. I prefer small, quirky local stores. Starbucks is not my coffee. But this has always been happening in waves. We are all just getting old.

  4. Yup. I mean, if you’re not having any fun it’s totally the city’s fault. You’re not getting older or anything.
    Also, what major US city has fewer chain stores than SF? Get a grip, people.

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