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BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA: Analysts forecast new trends in the Gulf area rental market for 2021, but landlords struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic

BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA: Analysts forecast new trends in the Gulf area rental market for 2021, but landlords struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – Real estate agent Eli Meyskins says with AMSI, now may be the best time to rent in San Francisco.

One of his lists is a one-bedroom apartment with a renovated kitchen and bathroom in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Rentals for $ 2,000 a month. This is 25 percent less than last year. And the first month is free. He has two units available in the eight-unit building on Washington Street.

“It’s 600-650 square feet,” says Meyskens. “San Francisco apartments are beautiful classic. Any other time, they could be rented out on the spot.”

Crystal Chen works as an analyst at rental site Zumper. It says 2020 was a year of unprecedented rents falling in the Gulf region.

Related: Rental rates in San Francisco are down 31% as residents leave for more space and cheaper housing amid the pandemic

According to Zumper, San Francisco has seen the biggest drop for a one-bedroom apartment in the entire country. Rents are down 23 percent. Auckland is down 19 percent and San Jose is 15 percent.

“Tenants’ priorities have really shifted away from the big city amenities, like nightlife and going out, and toward space and affordability,” Chen explains.

But many expect renters to start returning to the Bay Area in 2021, especially in cities like San Francisco. The lower rent means that those previously priced, can afford the costs of returning.

“I’ve spent the last 10 years moving from (San Francisco) to Oakland,” says Miskins. “And in just the last eight months, people have moved from Oakland to San Francisco. It’s a transformation.”

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Chen expects a bigger transformation this summer, once more people are vaccinated and life begins to return to “normal”.

Related: San Francisco is seeing a record drop in rental rates amid the pandemic, according to Zamber data

“I definitely think there will be people who will return to the city, and I don’t think it will be as expensive and crazy as it was before the epidemic,” Chen says.

On the other side are the current owners.

Low rental rates And with the large number of vacancies still remaining, many are suffering.

Related: How is COVID-19 affecting dwellings in the Bay Area? Weigh the expert

The Bay Area Homeowners Network, or BAHN, organized a small car rally across San Francisco’s Chinatown to protest the California eviction halt.

Jenny Zhao owns quite a few apartments in South Bay. Her husband lost his job due to the epidemic. As tenants default, she says her family is struggling.

“We have to pay the mortgage, have maintenance work, and fix the buildings. How do we live?” Chow says.

She says she understands the plight of many tenants due to the pandemic, but says there is a need for more equity around legislation.

Despite the difficulties on both sides, Miskins remains optimistic.

“I think (San Francisco) will get better in the long run after all of this, because it needed to be recalibrated. For everyone, in the long term, I think it will be fine,” he says.

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