Tech’s Embrace of Remote Work Sends San Francisco Rents Plunging

America’s priciest apartment-rental market suddenly has more bargains.

Rents for a San Francisco one-bedroom apartment have dropped about 12% from this time last year, a record monthly decline for the city, according to a report from listing site Zumper. Silicon Valley hubs such as Mountain View and Palo Alto also saw rents plunge -- a sign residents of the tech-heavy region are taking advantage of remote work arrangements to flee to cheaper areas.

Tech’s Embrace of Remote Work Sends San Francisco Rents Plunging

The San Francisco Bay Area is headquarters for some of the first companies to switch to working from home, while giants such as Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. are embracing it for the long run. With nothing tethering them to the office, many workers are relocating to Bay Area suburbs or leaving the state altogether.

With a median one-bedroom price of $3,280, San Francisco is still the most expensive rental market in the country, followed by New York, Boston and nearby San Jose and Oakland, which are tied for fourth, according to Zumper. Denser areas have seen rents decline as people seek more spacious digs to ride out the pandemic, while cheaper outlying cities have fared better, the company said.

Oakland, a less-expensive alternative to San Francisco, saw median one-bedroom rents climb 4.5% year over year, according to Zumper. Sacramento, even further afield, had a 7.9% increase.

A recent survey from Blind, an anonymous professional network, found that 28% of people in the Bay Area who have the option to work from home plan to relocate out of the metro area and 27% would leave the state.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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