SAN FRANCISCO—The second most expensive city to live in the United States, San Francisco, came in first place this month for the largest drop in rental prices— amid the coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented wildfires in the region.

The cost for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco averaged $2,830 a month according to the Zumper National Rent Report for October 2020.  The price is 20.3 percent less than the median price for rents in the city a year ago, making it the largest drop Zumper has ever recorded. It is also the first time the city of San Francisco had a listing under $3,000 for a single bedroom apartment. 

San Francisco is not the only city facing decreases in median rental prices. The Zumper report also states that New York’s current average cost for a single bedroom apartment is $2,600, which is 12.5 percent lower than October 2019 and 4 percent lower than last month. New York City took the title of most expensive city in 2007, but this month’s data predicts that San Francisco will pass NYC by next month.

In an email to the San Francisco Chronicle, one of Zumper’s data analysts, Neil Gerstein, said that migration flow out of San Francisco is on the rise while the migration flow into the city is continuing to fall.

When comparing New York City to San Francisco, Gerstein wrote:

“Both cities continued to experience large migration outflows, but the differences in the two cities’ migration inflows may explain their diverging price trends and could lead to rental prices in New York stabilizing faster than in San Francisco.”