3 Bay Area cities are in the top 10 most expensive 1- and 2-bedroom rentals — and they still haven’t returned to pre-pandemic prices

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Three Bay Area cities are in the top 10 most expensive one- and two-bedroom apartments, according to data analyzed by ABC7 News. This is despite the fact that rents have not fully rebounded from the pandemic.

Melissa Kargiannakis is a tech professional from the Bay Area, but despite her success, she says she can’t afford to live alone in San Francisco.

“The elusive dream. A bedroom in San Francisco,” Kargiannakis said.

The ABC7 News data team analyzed data from the Zumper website, capturing median prices for 1 and 2 bedroom apartment listings.

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On the list of most expensive one-bedroom rentals, San Francisco is second at $2,850 per month – only New York exceeded that cost. San Jose is fourth at $2,390 per month and Oakland is eighth at $2,100 per month.

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“I wish. That would be great,” Kargiannakis said. She says her search yielded even higher rents, “It’s shocking how high the rates are right now.”

Brad Hirn is the lead organizer for the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. He says business owners drive the market up.

“Whether it’s rent increases, fees, or loopholes in existing rent regulations, it drives up overall rents,” Hirn said.

“We just don’t have enough affordable housing and we need more,” said Shanti Singh, communications and legal director for Tenants Together.

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Tenants Together is a coalition of 50 tenant advocacy organizations across California.

Singh says we should view tenant protections as homelessness prevention.

“Once someone becomes homeless, it’s very difficult to get them back into a home,” Singh said.

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Bay Area rents are expected to continue to climb, according to Jeff Andrews, senior market analyst at Zumper.

“Rent is still down in San Francisco by 16% and it’s still the second most expensive market in the country,” Andrews said.

When looking at two bedrooms, rental costs in San Francisco exceed New York with a median rent of $3,930 per month. San Jose is listed at $2,870 per month and Oakland at $2,770 per month.

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Andrews says rents in most cities rebounded in January 2021.

“The west coast has been a bit slow to come back up,” Andrews said.

Especially the Bay Area, which he says will change as tech companies get back to work in the office.

“So no yeah, it’s not looking good,” Kargiannakis said.

And not looking like Kargiannakis will be able to move on her own, for now.

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