Domestic housing prices have been steadily increasing since the 2007-2009 U.S. housing crisis. While this is not a surprise, what is interesting is how quickly the cost of living in major cities has bounced back. In fact, most major cities have higher rents and mortgage payments than many people can afford.
In places such as San Francisco, rent and overall living expenses have skyrocketed. With startups and large technology companies alike moving their headquarters to the city, on top of high overall demand for housing coupled with low supply, San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the country. But within the seven-mile by seven-mile peninsula, housing prices also range greatly. The following are the top five most expensive San Francisco neighborhoods. (For related reading, see "Understanding Buying vs. Renting in San Francisco")
1. Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights is one of the most desirable places to live in San Francisco. The neighborhood boasts some of the nicest views in the city and also has easy access to The Presidio national park. Additionally, with areas known as "billionaires row," where Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff have taken up residency, this neighborhood is the most expensive place to live in San Francisco. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment runs around $3,971 a month.
2. Financial District
The Financial District is the financial and corporate hub of San Francisco, with companies such as Twitter and Salesforce having headquarters in this neighborhood. With the ability to roll out of bed, head outside, and walk a short distance to work, the Financial District is a favorite neighborhood of young professionals. A one-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood costs roughly $4,291 a month. Renters beware, however, as the Financial District is bordered by some of the more undesirable neighborhoods in San Francisco, such as the Tenderloin, and it is only a benefit to live there due to its close proximity to many companies.
3. Russian Hill
Russian Hill, home to the popular tourist destination Lombard Street, has something for everyone with the iconic cable cars dotting the hills, views of the two bridges, and easy access to restaurants and shops. As an increasingly popular place to live, Russian Hill's average one-bedroom apartment costs about $4926 a month. Residents love the quiet of the neighborhood tucked into the city, retaining an upper crust, old San Francisco feel despite the changing face of the city.
4. Nob Hill
Nob Hill is a more traditional San Francisco neighborhood, and it has the look and feel of what one expects when moving to the city. The neighborhood is characterized by Victorian homes and beautiful views of the city. Nob Hill sits on a hill north of the Tenderloin neighborhood, providing a quiet and safe place to live and even raise a family. The neighborhood is central to some of the best areas for nightlife in San Francisco, giving residents a chance to walk to Polk Street, North Beach and even the Marina neighborhoods. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment runs around $3,828.
5. South of Market
South of Market, or SoMa, has been an up-and-coming neighborhood for years and has become very popular as more tech startups enter San Francisco. With many startup headquarters located in this neighborhood, SoMa also has easy access to Caltrain, which is the best form of public transportation to the South Bay and the Peninsula. SoMa is known for an industrial modern look but is one of the most expensive places in the Bay Area to rent: a one-bedroom apartment there costs an average of $4,198.