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San Francisco drops to 3rd costliest metropolis for renting an residence

Photo of Tessa McLean

october 25, 2022Updated: Oct. 25, 2022 8:12pm

A for-rent sign hangs outside an apartment building in San Francisco on Jan. 4, 2022.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

When New York City surpassed San Francisco as the most expensive city in which to rent an apartment in August 2021, it was the first time any major metro cost more than SF since Zumper started tracking rental data in 2014. Now, just over a year later , San Francisco has dropped again, becoming the third most expensive city for renting, according to new data from Zumper.

Boston now reigns as the second most expensive city in which to rent an apartment, with a median price of $3,060 for a one-bedroom apartment. Last month was a big jump for the East Coast city, growing 5.9%, while most major cities saw a decline in prices in September. New York City still far surpasses any other city as the most expensive, with a median one-bedroom price of $3,860, even as it saw a decline of more than 2% last month.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco sits at $3,020, down 4.6% this month from September. Rents in San Francisco are still far below pre-pandemic levels, with this month’s one-bedroom media rent 13.7% below February 2020.

Neighboring San Jose is the fourth most expensive city for renters, with median rent for a one bedroom at $2,600, according to Zumper.

“Bay Area rent prices were already some of the highest in the pre-pandemic nation and while the inflation in rent prices in the Bay was real, it was not as much as the rest of the nation because of already high prices and migration flows were more outflows than inflows,” a Zumper spokesperson wrote in an email.

Notably, but certainly not surprisingly, six California cities are in the top 10 most expensive list. San Diego was fifth on the list, with Los Angeles sixth, Oakland ninth, and Santa Ana at No. 10

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