SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – It’s not just homes leaving the market in San Francisco. The rental market is heating up as dozens of large companies return to office this week.

From a weird ghost town to a bustling bustling town.

“This time last year it was a ghost town,” said real estate agent Neil Canlas. “You could see the tumbleweeds in the streets of San Francisco.”

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But, this year, the city is starting to come back to life – one indicator being the rental market.

“During the pandemic, rentals had been in the market for a long time. At least a month or two, now they go out in a week or two,” Canlas said.

Canlas said that in July of last year, only 25 rental listings were closed on MLS. While in the last three months, 188 rental ads have been closed.

“People are coming back and they need a place to live,” he said.

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With the return of people, the prices are also coming back. The Canlas brothers say the overall average rent for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom has increased by up to 20 percent. But, this all varies by location. Analysis of ABC7 data on closed MLS rental listings for the second quarter of this year shows the biggest rent increases were recorded for condos in Mission Bay, South Beach, the Financial District and parts of Polk Gulch.

Stephanie: “What is the average rental rate for a two bedroom in Polk Gulch right now?” “

Daryll Canlas: “The average is between $ 2,500 and $ 3,000.”

Stephanie: “What are two quarters?”

Daryll Canlas: “About 10-20% off, probably between $ 2,000 and $ 2,800.”
The increased demand is also having an impact on the city’s commercial real estate.

“People are going back to town,” said Robert Sammons, senior researcher for commercial real estate company Cushman and Wakefield. “This is a great sign for our economy.”

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“We close the second quarter today and will end with 7,000 square feet of new rental activity,” Sammons said. “It’s the best since the first quarter of 2020.”

Signs of progress, but there is still work to be done. 20 percent of the city’s commercial buildings are vacant – the highest figure in the past two decades.

“It’s going to take a while, maybe 2022 until we make a full recovery,” Sammons said. “But, we are making progress and that is a good sign.”

According to data compiled by Cushman and Wakefield, of the 140 large companies the company tracks that are primarily based in San Francisco, 70% said they would be back in the office by July 1. This figure is expected to rise to 78 percent by the end of the year. Whereas, 22 percent of this group have indicated that they will be working from home indefinitely.

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