Vital Signs: Rent Payments – by city (2022) | Last Updated 20 Jun 2023

VITAL SIGNS INDICATOR Rent Payments (EC8) FULL MEASURE NAME Median rent payment LAST UPDATED January 2023 DESCRIPTION Rent payments refer to the cost of leasing an apartment or home and serves as a measure of housing costs for individuals who do not own a home. The data reflect the median monthly rent paid by Bay Area households across apartments and homes of various sizes and various levels of quality. This differs from advertised rents for available apartments, which usually are higher. Note that rent can be presented using nominal or real (inflation-adjusted) dollar values; data are presented inflation-adjusted to reflect changes in household purchasing power over time. DATA SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau: Decennial Census - Count 2 (1970) Form STF1 (1980-1990) Form SF3a (2000) U.S. Census Bureau: American Community Survey - Form B25058 (2005-2021; median contract rent) Bureau of Labor Statistics: Consumer Price Index - 1970-2021 CONTACT INFORMATION METHODOLOGY NOTES (across all datasets for this indicator) Rent data reflects median rent payments rather than list rents (refer to measure definition above). American Community Survey 1-year data is used for larger geographies – Bay counties and most metropolitan area counties – while smaller geographies rely upon 5-year rolling average data due to their smaller sample sizes. Note that 2020 data uses the 5-year estimates because the ACS did not collect 1-year data for 2020. 1970 Census data for median rent payments has been imputed from quintiles using methodology from California Department of Finance as the source data only provided the mean, rather than the median, monthly rent. Metro area boundaries reflects today’s metro area definitions by county for consistency, rather than historical metro area boundaries. Inflation-adjusted data are presented to illustrate how rent payments have grown relative to overall price increases; that said, the use of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) does create some challenges given the fact that housing represents a major chunk of consumer goods bundle used to calculate CPI. This reflects a methodological tradeoff between precision and accuracy and is a common concern when working with any commodity that is a major component of CPI itself.

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