Comparing research in the rental market between San Francisco, Seattle, LA, and New York


With great reputation comes greater rental prices. Haven’t heard that one before? In famed cities of the country like San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York, the rental market is never stagnant; recent graduates, old graduates, young professionals, families are always looking for new places to move into. With lots of new, unaffordable luxury apartments on the rise and rent only going higher year by year in some areas, it becomes more and more difficult for both buyers and sellers. In this article, we’ll look at the current rental climate of these cities coming into the new year.

San Francisco

Being that San Francisco rent is constantly reaching for first place as the most expensive city to live in the US, we can look at the recent data of the past year to evaluate escalation and movement of the rental market. According to SF Curbed, San Francisco’s rent has increased year by year, steadily holding a current median of $3,560/mo as of November 2018 which was the highest in the country. This was determined by looking at a consistent Zumper report, belonging to a platform that services rental listings and allows people to rent and lease homes and apartments. Although it was a decrease from the month before, another statistic from shows that it has been about a 3% increase year after year overall.

A picture from Abodo’s national apartment report confirms this, showing San Francisco’s $3,816 median 1-BR rent, with New York and Los Angeles following not too far behind.



To contrast, numbers in Seattle have been indicating an actual decrease in the rental market. Seattle Curbed says that a change is around the corner in rent prices and that it may not be because of the affordable end, but rather the top ceiling. This means the cheaper rents are more likely to stay the same, but the more expensive rentals are starting to reduce costs. Seattle has been wary of growing rent prices since a few years ago, but it’s possible they are slowing down now. According to the article, Zillow found a 5.4% increase from the past two years, but now that things are turning around, the disparity between the back-to-back increase and decrease is starting to become more clear. also confirms this,  a 2.4 year-by-year decrease.

Los Angeles

Unlike both the Seattle and San Francisco markets, Los Angeles has maintained a somewhat flat rental rate. LA Curbed analyzed that Los Angeles continued a rate of between $1,300-$1,700 a month starting this year. People looking for new places to live are still having a bit of trouble with the small increase during the beginning of the year but the rate is pretty much the same. Los Angeles natives like the consistency of rent prices, but those who can afford more or less move to either Las Vegas or San Francisco.

New York

At the end of 2018, we were looking at declines in Manhattan prices, which were big dips for New York. Now at the start of 2019, there is word of an abundance of apartments which won’t make a difference for those looking for cheap rent: they’re luxury apartments. The New York Times predicts that it will take “more than six years to sell all of the new development in Manhattan alone” according to Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants. Those who cannot match the prices of these luxury buildings will have to continue their search and shift focus to the apartments with declining costs carrying over from the past year.

What is rent control?

Rent control is a form of rent regulation that allows for a price cap on real estate. With this in management, tenants have more of an incentive to stay, landlords will have it easier in terms of finding residents, and it pushes self-regulation in the local economy so that low and middle-income class people can find affordable housing. Among all these cities mentioned in the article, only Seattle is without some kind of rent control, although the rent-controlled cities are topping the rent price charts.



With scenarios like New York complicating the housing crisis with another round of luxury apartments, some going for $1.2 million one-bedrooms, finding affordable housing is a problem that never seems to be mitigated even with rent control taking place.

We, at Homeshare, are just one of the solutions to this problem. With a roommate matching service that allows for easy and smooth move-in processes into any of our inexpensive yet luxurious apartments across all markets, our residents are saved from any trouble that most run into. Even though San Francisco, Seattle, LA, and New York all have differing prices in each city that fluctuate and oscillate within each season, Homeshare strives to keep our prices as consistent with our mission, which is to provide affordable yet luxurious housing.



  1. Johnny

    This is actually useful, thanks.

  2. Grover

    I enjoy the article

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