That San Francisco Apartment (With a Toilet in the Shower) Just Came Back on the Market

The price for the 125-square-foot apartment is now $1,350 — which is over $400 less than it was when it first came onto the SF rental market earlier in 2022.

San Francisco’s rental market has somewhat tempered over the past few months. According to Zumper, the average rents in the city are about 7% more than what they were this time in 2021. (For comparison: Rental prices between 2020 and 2021 in San Francisco jumped a staggering 21% during the same time period.) Interestingly enough, as well, the renting population of SF has now increased to 62% — a figure second only to New York City, where just 32% of residents own their homes.

When this sub-150-square-foot apartment (with a toilet in the shower) went onto the market earlier this year, it raised eyebrows and turned heads… especially because it cost more than $1,700 a month to occupy. Then, it dropped to $1,500. Now, months after it was removed from Zillow, it has reappeared on Craigslist for $1,350.

Mind you: Nothing else has changed in those elapsed weeks, except for the price. The Craigslist posting is still authored by SF Bay Rental Company, which describes that the kitchenette features a “stone countertop, stainless sink, mini fridge, and modern cabinets,” though no oven or stovetop is included. 

As for the wet bathroom, the company notes it comes complete with “modern fixtures and shower.” 

My dystopian sentiments around such a listing still remain, regardless of its $1,350 price tag. You’d still need to make around $50,000 a year to afford such a place — a domicile that’s a quarter of the average studio apartment size in the United States. This unit at 698 Bush Street remains the smallest apartment with its own private bathroom in San Francisco. There is a handful of SROs available for slightly less than this wet bathroom apartment; all of them come in at just around twice the size of the standard American jail cell.

In a strange fit of circumstance, this petite domicile has become a proverbial canary in the coal mine this year regarding the state of rental housing in San Francisco. It was first listed as the market boomed with promises of a renewed SF on a once-in-a-lifetime rebound; that initial price was slashed as realities set in around the current state of affairs; the listing was placed on Craigslist for $150 less just a few days after a New York Times article described downtown San Francisco as the most desolate of its kind anywhere in the country.

The San Francisco we knew for decades isn’t returning with the same glitz and veneer. But maybe this is the perfect time for the seven-by-seven to have a reality check, which includes a renaissance around affordable housing. Let’s just hope that this new age of livability doesn’t include applying a hair mask over the toilet.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Zillow

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