- The median rent for a studio apartment in San Francisco has dropped over 30% since that time, as reports continue to come in of residents who fled the city during the pandemic, according to new realtor data.
- With employers, including the region’s tech giants, continuing to work remotely, employees are no longer tied to housing near offices and can head to cheaper areas.
- An exodus from San Francisco’s expensive real estate market is nothing new, but has been exacerbated by the pandemic as city amenities remain closed and residents completely rethink their urban lifestyles.
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The rent for a studio in San Francisco is down more than 30% year over year. This is yet another indication that remote working and the pandemic are transforming the city’s real estate market.
The median rent for a studio in town is now estimated at $ 2,285, a decrease of 31% from last September. This comes from new data released by Realtor on Tuesday. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment and a two-bedroom apartment decreased by 24% and 21%, respectively. Of all the US markets included in the report, San Francisco saw the largest drop in rent for two, one and studios.
Rental statistics and anecdotal data have been suggesting a trend for people to leave San Francisco for months. Moving companies in the city have been inundated with deals in recent months due to the influx of residents eager to move, according to Business Insider’s Rob Price. And, according to a report by August Zillow, there are almost twice as many homes for sale in San Francisco than there were at the same time last year.
However, reports of residents leaving the city are nothing new and date back to the COVID-19 pandemic – rising house prices, high cost of living, and other factors have been cited as major reasons for leaving San Francisco in recent years. A “city flight” out of the city has, however, accelerated as some of the city’s most attractive amenities – such as museums, restaurants and bars – remain closed and the rise of remote working has allowed workers in tech and other sectors to move to the city Places with cheaper cost of living.
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Big tech companies like Google and Facebook, headquartered in the region, have announced that their workforce will work from home well into 2021 to free their employees from being tied to apartments near their Silicon Valley offices. Some companies have also switched to a spoke-wheel model, which allows employees to work from satellite offices rather than from a main campus.
San Francisco is just a pocket of Silicon Valley that is said to be witnessing an exodus of people. Santa Clara and San Mateo, two cities in the heart of Silicon Valley, ranked 3rd and 4th on the broker list for the biggest hit in studio rental.
Some reports speculated that people fleeing the valley would instead move to surrounding areas, where rents were much lower. In fact, Sacramento, California’s capital, about 100 miles northeast of San Francisco, ranked sixth for the highest studio rental increases. Many have also reportedly moved to the affluent wine country north of San Francisco to snap up wealthy homes there.
San Francisco isn’t the only metropolitan area where once high-priced life has declined during the pandemic. New York has seen a similar phenomenon – Realtor’s data also shows a 15% decrease in the median rent for a studio since that time last year.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there has been a debate about whether people want to live in large US metropolitan areas in the short and long term.