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It’s a good time to live in San Francisco. 

In the shadow of coronavirus, the notoriously expensive city has suddenly become more affordable as San Francisco rent prices hit record lows in over six years. It’s a renter’s market in one of America’s most expensive cities, making it the perfect time for them to strike out on your own or upgrade your current pad with today’s low-price apartments. 

If you are a homeowner or landlord, now is the time to strike. The rental market is hotter than ever before, and you can still turn a profit while locking in new tenants.

That’s where Poplar Homes come in. We’ll help estimate the rental value to make sure that you are charging the right amount to stay competitive while still earning top dollar for your property. With the built-in capability for contactless showings, we’re all about protecting your time and keeping you safe. 

Poplar Homes’ rent estimate tool is the key to your next rental, helping you evaluate the current rental market so you can always stay competitive. Based on the most recent reporting, Poplar Homes even offers rent estimates by address.



What $3,500 Will Get You Today in San Francisco


To provide a well-rounded portrait of the current San Francisco market in fall 2020, we compare four different properties in the area using the Poplar Homes Rent Estimate Tool



1160 Mission Street, Unit 1511

  • Location at a discount
  • Duplex/Triplex
  • 1 bedroom, 1 bath


Formerly $3,500 a month, renters can now save hundreds of dollars with this cute one bedroom, one bath with an attractive 94103 zip code. Located conveniently within the South of Market neighborhood, it’s a vibrant community that is equal parts walk- and bike-friendly with a phenomenal 98 rating. 

Priced at $2,900 per month, it includes 756 square feet of unfurnished living space, allowing renters to furnish it themselves. The unit features hardwood and carpeted flooring,

In the kitchen, there are granite kitchen countertops to offset the available appliances, including a microwave, refrigerator, range/oven, and dishwasher. There’s also an in-unit washer and dryer and reserved parking, and the pet policy is negotiable. The landlord pays the HOA fees, while the renter is responsible for parking and utilities, including water, trash, and sewage.  



865 Fillmore Street, Unit 1


  • Bright & light Hayes Valley apartment
  • Apartment
  • 1 bedroom, 1 bath


In the 94117 area code is this charming one bedroom, one bath apartment in Hayes Valley, conveniently located near public transportation with a high walk and transit score. It is unfurnished, so renters can bring their own style, and is full of natural light with big windows for an open feel. The unit also features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a built-in closet in the bedroom. 

However, there are some drawbacks. There is no washer and dryer in the unit, and there is no reserved parking, just street parking. Pets are not allowed, and there is no smoking in the unit. 

The tenant pays for water, trash, gas, electricity, and cable, while the landlord pays the sewage bill. 

Originally $3,500, the price has now dropped to $3,100 with various rebates and move-in incentives for qualified renters.



51 Innes Court, Unit 103


  • Perfect for family or friends
  • Apartment
  • 2 bedroom, 2 bath


In the 94124 zip code is this apartment with two bedrooms, two baths, and a total of 1,185 square feet of living space. Although originally $3,750 per month, the market has brought the price down to $3,300 with additional rebates for up to three months.

This convenient ground level unit is perfect for small families or roommates with a charming private patio and an unfurnished interior that renters can set up however they like. The unit includes a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and range/oven with electric gas. Other perks include an in-unit washer and dryer, electric heating, and one reserved parking space with available street parking. 

The tenant pays for gas and electricity while the landlord pays for water and trash. There is also a small park nearby and a convenient shuttle service to downtown, making this a comfortable fit for those who prefer a quieter community. 



2915 Irving Street


  • A relaxing home for the growing brood
  • Duplex/Triplex
  • Three bedrooms, 2 bath



















In the 94122 area, you’ll find this airy unit with 900 square feet of living space. Its original price of $3,900 has been slashed to $3,500, with a free month in rent offered for the early signer. It’s located in the highly coveted Outer Sunset neighborhood, a quiet community that is great for the nature-lover. The highly bikeable and walkable neighborhood has many parks and schools nearby with easy access to bus lines.

The unit features a private balcony off this unfurnished duplex. Natural light keeps things bright and happy with three bedrooms and two baths, hardwood floors, and room for storage. The basics of a fridge, oven/range, and dishwasher are included, and there is a shared washer/dryer available, but it is coin-operated. Street parking is available.

The unit is also dog-friendly with a $500 deposit, and the tenant also covers electricity, gas, cable, and water, while the landlord will pay for trash. 



The Bottom Line


Though affected by COVID’s economic downturn, landlords are still renting out their properties. There has been some noticeable price-slashing, along with the rise of special incentives like free rent or waived fees. Utilities are often split between landlord and renter, while some benefits like an in-unit washer and dryer, reserved parking, or a patio are harder to come by.

There’s no doubt that it’s a renter’s market in San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean that landlords are missing out. Today, more than ever, the San Francisco market is attractive to renters.

Renting a home during uncertain times can be challenging. That is why Poplar Homes is pioneering contactless rentals to let renters find a new home safely. Renters are encouraged to stay home and not attend in-person tours as they may not allow for safe social distancing or comply with public health orders. Instead, you may use the Ace chatbot below to view homes for rent and take a virtual tour. Poplar Homes enables you with 3D Virtual tours, a free online application, and our AI-driven chatbot so you can sign a lease without human contact. 

However you find your new home, know that you can tour safely with Poplar Homes.

Experience the modern and efficient way to rent