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Rent drop: -2.3%
Q4 2008 rent change: -3.0%
Q4 2007 rent change: -0.7%
Effective rent: $1,994
The San Francisco area, known for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, liberal attitudes and scenic vistas, has high apartment rents. But those rents have begun to soften with the sagging economy. The unemployment rate climbed to 5.7% in November 2008 compared to 4% in November 2007. The apartment vacancy rate jumped to 4.6% in the fourth quarter last year from 3.6% in the same period in 2007. Landlords on average are giving 0.6 weeks of rent concessions.