Report paints picture of Bay Area rental market

San Francisco
Mark Prado

A new report on the rental market shows the East Bay and Silicon Valley remain the most sough-after areas in the region, while San Francisco is less competitive. 

To rank the hottest rental markets, Rent Cafe looked at the number of renters competing for an apartment, the number of days rentals were vacant, the percentage of new apartments built, the share of renters that renewed their leases and occupancy rates. 

The report notes that in the Bay Area:  

• There are 15 renters competing for every vacant apartment in Silicon Valley*, approximately the same as in the East Bay** with 14. With a high occupancy rate of 95.6%, slightly above the national average, both areas may face increased competition as the new supply is scarce this year. New apartments in the East Bay represent 0.5% of the total inventory there, while in Silicon Valley the apartment stock grew a mere 0.3%.  

• The rental competitiveness is less intense in San Francisco***, where a prospective tenant has to compete with only seven other possible tenants for the desired apartments. The occupancy rate here is lower than the national average, at 93%, with vacated apartments staying on the market for 41 days. New supply bumped up the total number of apartments here by just 0.5% this year so far.  

• Less than half of the renters in Silicon Valley, East Bay and San Francisco chose to renew their leases. This shows a higher mobility for renters than in other markets, which takes a significant amount of steam off the rental landscape here.

* Silicon Valley rental market: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Campbell, Cupertino, Milpitas, Palo Alto and San Benito. 

** East Bay rental market: Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Walnut Creek, Dublin, Concord, San Leandro, Richmond, Fairfield, San Ramon, Vacaville and Pleasanton. 

*** San Francisco rental market: San Francisco, Santa Rosa, San Mateo, Daly City, Foster City, Napa, Rohnert Park, Redwood City, Petaluma and San Rafael.

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