Many of us not in the tech industry saw Twitter's small round of layoffs last fall, and their decision in January to sublet some of their office space in their Mid-Market headquarters as signs of a tidal shift in the local tech boom. And it turns out, many within the industry look to Twitter as a high-profile barometer as well, and the Chronicle reported this past weekend that that "Twitter effect" has trickled down to the office rental market as a whole, and now more recently to the apartment rental market.
Says Chandler Duvall, a big-time property manager in the city, "Commercial office brokers get worried, smaller tech companies get worried, venture capitalists get worried whether it’s legitimate or not. If they are not hiring, should we be hiring? That’s when it starts to affect apartments."
Apartment rents were pretty steadily on the rise through most of 2014 and 2015, but they've flattened out since the third quarter of last year, and brokers attribute this to larger signs in the local tech economy that boom times are over.
And in March we saw a report that suggested rents for one-bedroom units had finally stopped their rise, and had been basically flat for a full year.
That hasn't stopped people at the upper end of the market renting things like this $30K/month penthouse it's unclear, though, if that unit at the Four Seasons downtown actually found a tenant at that price.
As of last month, also, given the bevy of empty, brand new units that all hit the market at around the same time, properties like this SFist sponsor have been offering one month free if people sign one-year leases a long-used tactic of landlords when the market becomes more competitive that allows them to keep the base rent up while still giving a discount.
The Chron also quotes a trio of young twentysomethings moving from Marin who had an "almost too easy" time finding an apartment to share a $4,000 two-bedroom one-bath in North Beach, so they're all only paying $1,333 a month.
This is just to say that the long-awaited softening of the rental market has finally arrived even though, in reality, shit's still really expensive, and that isn't going to change much.