San Francisco rent is highest in the country


San Francisco has the highest rent in the nation, beating New York by more than $800 for a one-bedroom rental, according to the rental app Zumper.

Every year rent has steadily increased and does not appear to be dropping any time soon. The median price of a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,690 while New York is $2,870, according to Zumper.

“We are trying to reflect the open market so we can give a better picture of what [people] will be paying if [people] moved out tomorrow,” Zumper marketing manager Crystal Chen said.

Zumper collects rent data from their platform with other third-party listings on the online real estate portal, according to Chen. The data excludes new construction projects and listings that are no longer available.

Zumper looked at rental data during winter, which is a slow season for renting. With a high demand for housing in the Bay Area, rent will only become higher, according to Chen.

“The price of condos has gone down, but the rents have only gone up,” said Bay Area real estate agent Paul Hwang. Hwang has been a real estate agent in the Bay Area since 2001.

Since the Bay Area is known as a hub for the tech industry, more and more start-up companies have moved into the area. These companies bring more jobs to the region, which increases the demand for housing and affects the cost of rent, according to Hwang.

Students are particularly vulnerable to the exorbitant cost of rent in the Bay Area.  

Anthropology major Janelle Scarritt, 25, is working on her second semester at SF State and her rent for a shared apartment at University Park North is $1,601. She receives some financial aid, but still works up to 60 hours between two jobs and still has to use her credit card to be able to afford rent and live in the area.

Going to school full-time while working is not “survivable” in the long term, according to Scarritt.

Scarritt lived in Long Beach and was paying $1,300 for an apartment a few blocks away from the beach. When she moved to San Francisco to attend SF State, she was shocked by how expensive the rent was.