Studio rent prices in San Francisco dropped a staggering 31 percent year over year in September, according to a new realtor.com study.

Rent prices continued to plummet in September, especially in some of the priciest cities in the country, according to a study released this week by realtor.com. San Francisco led the way in rent declines, with studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, dropping a staggering 31 percent, 24.2 percent and 21.3 percent year over year, respectively.

The declines mean that renters are getting the upper hand over landlords in many of the country’s previously most expensive cities, according to Danielle Hale, the chief economist at realtor.com.

“As vacant apartments begin to stack up, many landlords are scrambling to lower rents and offer discounts in an effort to entice or keep a shrinking pool of renters,” Hale said in a statement. “Many renters are likely heading to more affordable areas where they can get more space at a cheaper price, while others are moving home and viewing this as an opportunity to save for a downpayment.”

Conversely, rents are spiking up in secondary markets and may lead to homebuying becoming a more attractive option in those markets, Hale explained.

“Looking forward, the future of rents in many of these cities will depend on whether companies require employees to work from the office or continue to allow remote work,” Hale added.

Bay Area tech hubs saw the biggest declines, with San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties all leading the nation in price declines. The pricey markets of Manhattan, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. followed.

Across the country, the median monthly rent price for a studio was reported at $1,347, down 0.5 percent year over year. One- and two-bedroom monthly rents were up 1 percent and 2.3 percent, year over year.

Rent prices for a one-bedroom fell year over year in 36 of the 100 largest counties, compared to just six in March.

Email Patrick Kearns

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