As of January 2017 the median listing price for a room on Craigslist was $1350; for shared rooms it was $800.
This data came from 15,000 Craigslist postings that I collected over a six week period between December 2016 & January 2017. After removing duplicate postings, I was left with about 8,000 unique room listings.
How much does it cost to rent a private room?
The median rent across listings was $1350. Unsurprisingly, this varied significantly across neighborhoods.
|$1700-1799||Marina/Cow Hollow ($1780), Pac Heights ($1700), Potrero Hill ($1700)|
|$1600-1699||Lower Pac Heights ($1685), Hayes Valley ($1600), Lower Haight ($1600), Noe Valley ($1600)|
|$1500-1599||Lower Nob Hill ($1595), Russian Hill ($1585), Western Addition ($1575), Castro / Upper Market ($1500), SOMA / South Beach ($1500), Twin Peaks / Diamond Heights ($1500)|
|$1400-1499||Nob Hill ($1475), Alamo Square / Nopa ($1450), Cole Valley / Ashbury Heights ($1450), Downtown / Civic Center / Van Ness ($1400), Glen Park ($1400), Haight Ashbury ($1400), Mission District ($1400), North Beach / Telegraph Hill ($1400)|
|$1300-1399||Laurel Heights ($1360), Bernal Heights ($1345), Inner Richmond ($1300)|
|$1200-1299||Richmond / Seacliff ($1265), Bayview ($1250), Inner Sunset / UCSF ($1225), Tenderloin ($1200)|
|$1100-1199||Sunset / Parkside ($1150), Excelsior / Outer Mission ($1100), Visitacion Valley ($1100)|
|$1000-1099||Portala District ($1000), West Portali / Forest Hill ($1000)|
|$900-999||Financial District ($995), Ingleside / SFSU/ CCSF ($995), Treasure Island ($975)|
Treasure Island and the Tenderloin had the fewest listings (both less than 20), while the Ingleside / SFSU / CCSF neighborhood had the most (600).
How much does it cost to rent a converted room?
The median rent for a converted room (which is generally a living room that has been enclosed with a moveable partition) was $1300. 70% of the converted rooms listed on Craigslist are located in the SOMA / South Beach neighborhood. Converted rooms make up a very small portion (~1%) of the rooms listed on Craigslist.
How much does it cost to rent a shared room?
$800 per month is the median rent for a spot in a shared room. However, legitimate listings for shared rooms can be as high as $2000/month (per person). The pricier listings are usually for rooms located in non-chain hotels.
Most neighborhoods did not have any postings for shared rooms. Instead, postings tended to be for one of the following neighborhoods:
- Ingleside/SFSU/CCSF (25% of shared room postings)
- Sunset/Parkside (20%)
- Downtown/Civic/Van Ness (12%)
When are rooms posted?
Posting activity was generally highest on Monday then tapered off over the course of the week.
How competitive are rooms?
About 75% of listed rooms are only posted once. This seems to imply that these are “competitive” listings - i.e. these vacancies are filled after being posted on Craigslist only once.
The remaining 25% of rooms aren’t just re-posted once, but re-posted many, many times. This suggests that nobody is interested in these rooms (the “uncompetitive” listings) or that they’re scams. These rooms make up two-thirds of all postings, despite only representing 25% of the rooms available on Craigslist.
Posted 250+ Times:
“28th Ave room see today”
Posted 75+ Times:
“Awesome people needed”
“Best Community ever”
“2 Minutes walk from BART”
Generally speaking, the most re-posted rooms originate from commercial entities (brokers, hacker houses, roommate matching services, etc.). In addition to aggressively re-posting their listings, it’s also common for them to list same vacancy multiple times with different copy.
If you’re moving to San Francisco, expect to pay $1000-1800/month (or more, if you so choose) to live with roommates. Prices will vary greatly depending on location, and if a listing seems too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam.