Report: Bay Area rental market competitive

Santa Clara
Silicon Valley.
Karl Nielsen

A new report looks at California's rental landscape, shedding light on where it's the hardest or easiest for renters to find an apartment in the state's largest housing hotspots, including the Bay Area.

The RentCafe report analyzes 137 major rental markets in the country, using data from millions of apartments to measure how competitive finding an apartment is. 

The Bay Area rental environment is influenced by factors including vacancy rates, number of prospective renters, lease renewal rates, and the influx of new apartments.

How the Bay Area ranks:

  • Silicon Valley (#4 most competitive in the state) stands out with its swift occupancy of vacant apartments in just 36 days, demonstrating a high demand backed by an average of 13 prospective renters per vacancy. The overall occupancy rate is strong at 95.6%, though the lease renewal rate is comparatively lower at 45.7%. Despite the competition, new apartments make up only 0.16% of the market, limiting options for new renters. Silicon Valley's competitive score stands at 78.
  • San Francisco Peninsula - North Bay market (#12), apartments stay vacant for an average of 44 days, and the region attracts seven prospective renters per vacancy, showing lower competition than Silicon Valley. The occupancy rate is also lower at 92.9%. However, lease renewals are slightly higher, at 46.3%. Notably, new apartment constructions make up 0.4% of the market, adding more options for renters. This region's competitive score is notably lower at 28.
  • East Bay (#11) sees apartments stay vacant for a similar period to San Francisco Peninsula - North Bay, at 43 days, and draws an average of nine prospective renters per vacancy. The occupancy rate stands at 94.1%, and the lease renewal rate is the lowest of the three regions at 42.5%. Interestingly, East Bay sees the highest share of new apartments at 0.49%, creating more fluidity in the market. East Bay's competitive score is mid-range at 48, demonstrating a more balanced market compared to the other two regions.


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