Update, Dec. 26, 2015: The map described below is now published through RentHub. The most current version for the Bay Area is embedded above.
Update, April 21, 2013: The real-estate data firm Kwelia updated its map of Bay Area rental prices to make it a little more nuanced. The firm revised the map to show median (instead of average) per-square-foot prices for apartment rents and zeroed in on neighborhoods a little more closely by showing rental rates for each census tract in the region (instead of ZIP codes). We've changed our map display with a link to Kwelia's revised interactive map; just click the image to get to that new map.
Original post: Looking for a cheap place to live in the Bay Area? Start driving east from downtown San Francisco - and keep going.
It probably isn't a surprise that the cheapest residential rents in the region would be in the far East Bay. According to new research from the real estate startup Kwelia, Brentwood has the Bay Area's most affordable residential rent - $0.96 per square foot. Compare that to the cost of renting a residence in San Francisco's Financial District, which can be more than $4 per square foot.
Kwelia says their research was based on publicly-available data, and they put it into the nifty map you can see below. Click on the map for a larger image.
The cost of Bay Area living continues to be a hot topic of discussion in the region. The average asking price for a one-bedroom in San Francisco is now $2,673 a month, up more than 10 percent from last year. Last week the city's board of supervisors took steps to reduce rental costs by approving an ordinance reducing the minimum required living space in an apartment, which supporters say clears the way for cheaper (as well as smaller) living.
Still, rents in San Francisco most likely will never be as cheap as they are in the East Bay. Here's a list of the cheapest places to live in the Bay Area, according to Kwelia, as well as the region's most expensive communities. You can download the startup's list of rental costs by zip code here.
THE 5 CHEAPEST PLACES TO RENT IN THE BAY AREA
- Brentwood, $0.96 per square foot.
- Vallejo (zip code 94591), $1 per square foot
- Antioch, $1.04 per square foot
- Oakley, $1.09 per square foot
- Vallejo, (zip code 94590), $1.10 per square foot
THE FIVE MOST EXPENSIVE PLACES TO RENT IN THE BAY AREA
- Financial District, San Francisco (zip code 94104), $4.74 per square foot
- Palo Alto, near Stanford (zip code 94305), $4.36 per square foot
- Rincon Hill, San Francisco (zip code 94105), $4.21 per square foot
- Financial District, San Francisco (zip code 94111), $4.17 per square foot
- Treasure Island, $4 per square foot