Alexander Clark Real Estate

‘The Front Steps’: What It Really Costs To Rent In the Richmond

Another quarter is behind us and headlines are hopping about the cost of renting in San Francisco, so you might be wondering how rental prospects in the Richmond look?

Like SF as a whole, the Richmond is more than 60 percent renter-occupied housing, although rental units change status so often that there’s rarely an up-to-the-minute estimate of such things.

As we’ve warned readers before, whenever you read about $3,000/month average rents in SF or other major cities, these figures are only conditionally accurate; most SF renters pay far, far less.

Rather, those are the market-rate numbers that new leases are offered at to renters hunting for an apartment right now. Also bear in mind that when rental platforms like ApartmentList and Zumper advertise nationwide and city-specific rent reports, much (or in some cases all) of that data reflects only the homes featured on that particular site.

No batch of numbers perfectly reflects reality. But at the same time, most give us at least some crucial insight into what renters are facing right now.

Case in point, as always at The Front Steps, we’re relying on the Multiple Listings Service to tell us what homeowners are offering their properties for.

Right now, MLS rental listings for just the Richmond and surrounding areas like Jordan Park come out to a median price of $3,725/month.

However that’s not very helpful, because the figure is based on just six current active listings. MLS doesn’t run nearly the same volume of listings for rentals as for home sales.

We can get a wider perspective if we consider the year to date as a whole; since January, the neighborhood sported 49 additional MLS rental offers, of which 32 eventually found renters.

For these, the median rent was $3,695; out of just those listings that ended up rented, the price was $3,498.

Is that a lot of money? Well, it’s over $3,500 per month, so yeah. But in context, is it a lot? Citywide, out of 512 leases in all of San Francisco, the median was $4,295 monthly–so it could have been worse.

Note that on sites like Zumper, the SF median lists around $3,000 monthly. However, that’s specific to just single-bedroom apartments, whereas the figures we’re using here cover every possible kind of home offered.

For the curious, the average Richmond rental in 2022 was a two bedroom, one bath, nearly 1,100 square foot unit built in 1947 and listed for 28 days before finding a renter.

What were you paying when you first moved to the Richmond–or for landlords, what did you first charge? How has your rental reality changed over the years? Let us know–because numbers without a human face are only half the story.

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