California Apartment Markets Ranked by Rent Per Square Foot

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The priciest apartment market in California registers rents per square foot more than double the national norm, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. Average effective rent per square foot in San Francisco registered at $3.92 in March 2022, more than twice the U.S. average of $1.87. Unsurprisingly, most major apartment markets in California register rents per square foot well above that $1.87 threshold. San Jose ($3.30), Los Angeles ($3.11) and Oakland ($3.02) are the only three other California markets where rent per square foot tops $3, but Santa Maria and Anaheim come close. Within the state, coastal markets tend to be much pricier than more inland markets, such as Sacramento ($2.20), Stockton-Lodi ($2.16), Bakersfield ($1.61) or Fresno ($1.57).