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.
As of 2015, in places such as San Francisco, California, rent and overall living expenses have skyrocketed over the past five to seven years. With large technology companies moving their headquarters to the city, and with high overall demand for housing coupled by low supply, San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the country. In fact, in the past year alone, the average rent cost has increased by 14.5% in the city. The following are the top five most expensive neighborhoods in San Francisco. (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 Presidio of San Francisco 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 $3,848 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 $3,800 a month. Renters beware, however, as the Financial District is bordered by some of the more undesirable neighborhoods in San Francisco, and it is only a benefit to live there due to its close proximity to many companies.
3. Civic Center
Civic Center is the cultural epicenter of San Francisco and is drawing a lot of out-of-town people. While Civic Center has been known to harbor one of the largest populations of homeless people in San Francisco, the neighborhood has done a great job cleaning itself up. It is recognized for its food trucks and concerts, and it provides easy walking access to the Financial District. In addition, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stops within the neighborhood allow people to easily leave the city and even commute to the East Bay. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment is approximately $3,783.
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 $3,725.
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, and a one-bedroom apartment there costs an average of $3,700.