By Richard Scheinin – The Mercury News, October 2, 2017
Rents continued to rise across the Bay Area in September, with San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco all registering year-over-year increases, according to a new report.
It offers little relief to hard-pressed renters.
In San Jose, the median cost of rents rose 2.5 percent year-over-year to $2,050 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,570 for a two-bedroom unit, according to the report by the ApartmentList.com website, which tracks rents nationwide.
In Oakland, rents rose 5.4 percent from a year earlier to $1,780 for a one-bedroom and $2,240 for a two-bedroom, while San Francisco apartments inched up 1.6 percent to $2,450 for a one-bedroom and $3,080 for a two-bedroom.
The report points out that rent increases are more than a regional phenomenon; they’re happening across California. Still, a spot-check of 17 Bay Area cities — where rents already were sky-high — shows continued increases almost everywhere. That means tenants, who have watched rents climb almost continuously over the last few years, must dig even deeper to get an apartment here.
“Rent increases of this frequency and magnitude are difficult for most working families to absorb, but they’re an absolute disaster for low-income households,” said Jith Meganathan, a policy advocate in Sacramento for the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
Predicting that more people will be pushed out of the region — or into debt, while struggling to pay for food, medicine and other basic needs — he added, “It’s too easy to say that this is just ‘the market’ at work. Behind these numbers lies a lot of individual suffering.”
There were a handful of places where rents fell from a year ago. They were down 2.7 percent in Berkeley (to $2,060 for a one-bedroom and $2,590 for a two-bedroom); down 0.9 percent in Daly City ($2,520 for a one-bedroom, $3,170 for a two-bedroom); and down 0.4 percent in Campbell ($1,890 for a one-bedroom, $2,370 for a two-bedroom).
In San Mateo, rents were up 1.3 percent, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you see the cost of apartments: $3,410 monthly for a one-bedroom and $4,290 for a two-bedroom.
In the East Bay, rents rose 6.2 percent in Concord to $2,370 for a one-bedroom and $2,980 for a two-bedroom; and 2.4 percent in Walnut Creek to $2,400 for a one-bedroom and $3,020 for a two-bedroom.