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Apartment Rents on the Rise

The Bay Area's tech boom continues to draw skilled workers from around the country and even internationally. This is great news for California's economy, but a lack of available housing in these high-growth areas is a big concern for workers and executives alike.Jim Wunderman, the president of the Bay Area Council, is pushing for a stronger partnership between cities and companies, in order to address the limited supply of affordable housing. If new homes aren't being built fast enough to meet the demand, economists are concerned that the increased cost of living will force companies to raise average salaries, creating increased labor costs for these companies. If these operating costs get too high, companies will be forced to start looking for labor elsewhere, and many jobs will be lost.The steady increase in rent affects non-tech workers too - other members of the community may not see their wages increase to compensate for the higher cost of living, and are now becoming unable to afford the rent on their current apartments. The average Bay Area rent has increased 20% since 2011, and San Francisco's already astronomical rents are now averaging $3,299 a month - the highest in the country, according to people are forced out of San Francisco by increased rent prices, they are flooding to the surrounding areas in Alameda County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Contra Costa County. This exodus then drives up the rents in THOSE counties, as the demand for housing grows without a matched growth in supply. Alameda saw the largest increase in rent from last year - a 12% increase that puts the average rental price at $1,928 per month. Workers are having to move further and further away from their jobs and the places they've called home for many years.This consistent increase in rental prices makes the idea of owning your own home more appealing than ever. There are some useful tools to determine if it is more cost-effective to rent a home or buy one - like's Rent vs Buy Calculator - but owning a home also gives you the security of knowing that your housing costs will not be dependent on the whims of the rental market in your area, and the stability that comes with knowing that you won't be given a notice to vacate by a landlord who is eager to sell or raise prices.July and August are traditionally great months for buyers, reflecting a seasonal cooling in the market as people go on vacation and relax a little bit. There is less competition for homes around this time, so if you have been waiting for the bidding wars to die down before purchasing a home, now is the time! Please contact me if you are ready to buy a home!

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