Mountain View is now the most expensive place to rent in the Bay Area

Recent data indicates that rental prices in Mountain View are surging, with an increase of nearly 15% compared to the previous year. According to a property manager, the demand for rentals is exceptionally high, sometimes attracting over 50 people to view a single rental property.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mountain View is now above $3,500, almost 15% higher than last year, according to a new report from real estate company Zumper.

One possible explanation for the price increase is the return of tech workers to the office, as more tech giants on the Peninsula, such as Google, are requiring employees to work onsite post-pandemic.

“As tech workers are returning to the office, it really puts pressure on rent prices,” explained Crystal Chen of Zumper.

With demand outstripping supply, renters are resorting to new strategies to secure housing.

“We’ve had several units where they’re offering $200-$300 over the listed rent just to secure it,” explained Rosemary Handa, property manager at Legacy Property Management. She described the competition for rental houses as intense. “I recently showed a house where around 50 people were interested, and we received five or six applications within the first hour of showing it,” Handa added.

While rental prices are increasing on the Peninsula, they are decreasing in San Francisco. The median price for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is now $2,900, down more than 3% compared to last year. Similarly, in San Jose, the median price for a one-bedroom rental has dropped by more than 3%. Oakland has experienced an even larger decrease, with rental prices down more than 11% compared to last year.

Menlo Park saw the most significant drop in rental prices among Bay Area cities, with one-bedroom apartments experiencing a decline of about 24%, according to Chen. One theory is that after Meta laid off thousands of employees in Menlo Park, some may have chosen to move to more affordable areas. However, they may now find themselves priced out of Mountain View as well.

Given the competitive rental market in Mountain View, property managers recommend that prospective renters regularly check for new listings and try to submit their application as quickly as possible.

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