Report: San Francisco leads region in major 2020 rent drop

RENTCafé has released its 2020 year-end report with data on rent change and renter activity. RENTCafé  looked at 5.8 million renter applications nationwide (moving in, out and inside a city) and concluded that, overall, renter activity dropped by 10% compared to last year.

San Jose registered biggest boost in renter activity among California cities analyzed – 6%. This comes in stark contrast with San Francisco, where the number of renter applications dropped by 7%.

Among the data:

  • Compared to last year, San Francisco rents dropped faster than in all the cities analyzed – by 17.3%, reaching $3,055 per month in November 2020. Meanwhile, San Jose rents dropped by 7.7% year over year, reaching $2,531 per month.
  • Compared to 2019, 55% more renters remained in San Jose (the highest share among all the cities analyzed). Additionally, 14% fewer renters moved out of San Jose, and 16% more outside renters applied for an apartment here. These trends indicate that San Jose maintained its appeal, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In contrast, of all the cities analyzed, San Francisco registered the steepest drop in applications from outside the city – 31%. San Francisco also lost 11% more renters this year, with Oakland being their first choice for a new home and Los Angeles their second.
  •  More than half of the renters who left San Francisco were Millennials with a $100,000 median income.
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