Apartment rents keep climbing in Q3 as landlords celebrate and renters despair

multifamily-mist-tnby Nathan Donato-Weinstein –

A closely watched report released Wednesday offered little relief for Silicon Valley apartment dwellers as rents continued to zoom upward in the third quarter.
Average monthly apartment rents in Santa Clara County bumped up $48 in the third quarter compared to Q2, according to Real Answers, the company formerly known as RealFacts. That’s a smaller increase than the county posted in the second quarter, and could be a sign that the market is cooling. But it comes after years of aggressive rent hikes that has made the region among the lease affordable in the country. The result: In Santa Clara County, the average monthly rent for all unit types in the third quarter was $2,580.
In San Mateo County, average rents were up even more — $110 per month in Q3, to $2,580 per month. That rate of increase (about 4.5 percent for the quarter) was unchanged compared to the prior three months.
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Real Answers tracks rents at apartment communities of 50 units or larger; smaller complexes — which are numerous in the Bay Area — often are lower.
Still, the latest quarterly report shows that the rent trend remains northward. That is good news for developers because continued rent growth is necessary to start new projects. But the report is likely to add to concerns about the region’s decreasing affordability as many tech companies continue to expand, bringing new workers to the region who must compete for a limited supply of rental housing.
Occupancy remained strong at 95.8 percent in Santa Clara County and 94.3 percent in San Mateo County. Those numbers are down just a hair, but have remained fairly stable even as new supply has entered the market.
There may be some signs of the market softening. In Mountain View, average asking rents were up negligibly ($7), suggesting that market may have peaked.
Here is a look at what you will have to pay, on average, for a one-bedroom apartment in selected submarkets:
Santa Clara County:$2,135 (up 11.3 percent from a year ago)
San Mateo County:$2,352 (up 12.3 percent from a year ago)
San Jose:$2,026 (up 12.3 percent from a year ago and the first time I can find a one-bedroom in the city exceeding the $2,000-a-month threshold)
Palo Alto:$2,782 (up 5.4 percent from a year ago)
Sunnyvale:$2,145 (up 11.6 percent from a year ago)
Mountain View:$2,399 (up 11.6 percent from a year ago)

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