Rents Nosedive in San Fran As High-Tech Crowd Abandons Dirty Streets for the Burbs

The economic lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus drove many companies to require their employees work from home. What they found out is that… their employees could work from home. It might sound self-evident, but it was a huge experiment with some surprising results. One of which is lower inner-city rents.

Apparently high-tech workers who can fire up the laptop from anywhere have decided that avoiding human waste and used needles on the streets of San Francisco is less desirable than waking up in cheaper, nicer digs outside the city.  With the city in lockdown for two months, landlords are finding it hard to gouge, er, charge renters like they used to. For June, rents are down 9.2% over last year.

Nationally, rents are down just 0.2%, so this looks like a mini-implosion in the tech field. In Mountain View, California, where Google’s headquarters are located, rents fell nearly 16 percent, while prices dropped 14.1 percent in Facebook’s home, Menlo Park, and fell 14.3 percent in Cupertino (where Apple’s headquarters is located). It stands to reason that workers in these companies would migrate to working remotely easier than others. But employees across the country worked from home over the last 75 days, so this could become a national phenomenon.

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