In September, the median price of a one-bedroom was $2,830, a 20.3% decrease from September 2019, according to Zumper.
That number is the largest drop among yearly decreases since Zumper began tracking in 2014 as well as the first time the median price of a one-bedroom in San Francisco was priced below $3,000.
Figures point to a persistently unequal recovery: Many higher-paid white-collar workers, who have disproportionately kept their jobs and can work remotely, are able to buy homes, in some cases far from their employers’ headquarters.
By contrast, renters are more likely to work in lower-paying service jobs at restaurants, hotels, gyms, and hair salons, where layoffs have been rampant and their ability to pay rent is declining.
Real estate professionals say they’re seeing more people leaving high-priced city apartments like San Francisco to buy homes in outer suburbs. The loss of urban amenities and concern that the risk of infection is higher in denser areas may be contributing to that trend.
"Renters are relishing in the moment, finally having the luxury to shop around and look for deals in a cut-throat rental market that has seen prices skyrocket for the last decade," Rob Warnock, research associate at Apartment List said. "With remote work here to stay for the foreseeable future, and peak rental season coming to a close, I suspect the price drops will last throughout the winter at least, until some event starts driving demand back into the market."