Rents Continue to Fall in San Francisco, Rebound in LA

May 2, 2021 Updated: May 3, 2021

Commentary

Apartment rents in San Francisco and Silicon Valley continue to decline, while rental costs in Los Angeles rebounded slightly from their COVID-19 lows.

San Francisco is still the most expensive city in the U.S. to rent a one-bedroom apartment, at $2,600 per month, but that’s down 25 percent from last year, according to the most recent apartment rental market report from online apartment finder Zumper.com.

San Francisco’s one-bedroom apartment rents are 1.9 percent lower than a month ago.

In Silicon Valley, in San Jose, one-bedroom rents are down 16.7 percent from the year-ago period, including a 2.4 percent drop during the latest month.

Rents throughout San Francisco and Silicon Valley fell precipitously during the pandemic as people across the U.S. fled high-density areas, where they had to share elevators, to low-density areas with plenty of green space.

Apartment rents in Los Angeles had also been falling, but rebounded 2.6 percent during the past month, back up to an average of $1,960 per month, according to Zumper. Los Angeles rents are now down only 10.6 percent from the year-ago period.

The rebound in rents in Los Angeles could indicate that people have at least stopped moving out of the city, and might actually be moving back in now that restaurants, bars, entertainment, and sports venues are starting to reopen.

Epoch Times Photo

Meanwhile, in Orange County, the cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Ana or Anaheim fell 0.6 percent during the month, and rents are now very similar between the two cities.

However, rents in Anaheim, at an average $1,680 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, are up five percent from the year-ago period; rents for a similar apartment in Santa Ana costs slightly more per month, at $1,690, which is basically unchanged from the year-ago period. One-bedroom apartment rents in Santa Ana have fallen 0.6 percent during the past 12 months.

Anaheim is home to two Disney theme parks, the Angels baseball stadium, and the Ducks ice hockey arena.

San Diego rents were largely unchanged during the pandemic and were up 1.1 percent over the past month.  One-bedroom apartments now rent for $1,820 in San Diego, up 2.2 percent over the last year.

Tim Shaler is a professional investor and economist based in Southern California. He is a regular columnist for The Epoch Times, where he exclusively provides some of his original economic analysis.