Renting in San Francisco? Discover the 7 most affordable San Francisco suburbs to rent in 2024.
With its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, tech-driven economy and unique neighborhoods, San Francisco is a city that captures the hearts of many. However, it’s no secret that the city’s housing costs can make finding a place to call home within your budget much harder.
If you’re a San Franciscan seeking a more affordable living option that doesn’t mean compromising on the city’s culture and opportunities, you’re in the right place. We’ll highlight seven of the most affordable San Francisco suburbs. These areas offer a budget-friendly alternative to the city’s high rents while still providing access to everything that San Francisco offers.
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,000
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,250
Distance from San Francisco: 15 miles
Our most affordable San Francisco suburb is Millbrae, where the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is nearly $1,430 less than in San Francisco. It’s only about 15 miles south of San Francisco, so you’re not too far from the city center.
Millbrae has plenty of parks to explore, such as Bayside Manor Park, Spur Trail and Bayfront Park, which has views of the San Francisco Bay. Millbrae is also conveniently located next to the San Francisco International Airport, making it a great area for those who travel often.
2. Daly City
Average rent for a studio: $2,183
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,407
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,289
Distance from San Francisco: 9 miles
Daly City is just nine miles south of San Francisco and is the second suburb on our list. The area is home to about 101,200 residents, and the average rents are much less than in San Francisco. For example, a one-bedroom unit in Daly City costs $2,407, compared to $3,432 in San Francisco.
Daly City is known for its stunning coastal views and outdoor activities, making it a great destination for nature lovers and hikers. You can visit Thornton State Beach or Mussel Rock Park for scenic hikes and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, the city offers a variety of diverse dining options, showcasing a wide range of international cuisines and experiences for residents to enjoy.
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,600
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,395
Distance from San Francisco: 8 miles
For those on the hunt for a budget-friendly suburb near San Francisco, Brisbane is just eight miles to the south. The rental prices are great as the average rent for a one-bedroom unit is $2,600, compared to San Francisco’s $3,432 rent.
A small town nestled between South San Francisco and Daly City, Brisbane offers access to the scenic San Bruno Mountain State and County Park, where you can enjoy hiking and bird watching while taking in panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also explore the Brisbane Marina, where you’ll find a fishing pier and a couple of small cafes.
Average rent for a studio: $2,495
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,625
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,100
Distance from San Francisco: 14 miles
About 14 miles south of San Francisco, Pacifica offers an affordable suburban alternative. The slightly longer commute might just be a trade-off worth considering. With the average rent for a one-bedroom costing about $800 less than in San Francisco, Pacifica may be the suburb for you.
Pacifica is known for its scenic beaches, including Rockaway Beach and Linda Mar Beach, where visitors can enjoy surfing, sunbathing and taking in the beautiful Pacific Ocean views. The town is also surrounded by picturesque hiking trails in the nearby Montara Mountain and Sweeney Ridge, offering opportunities to explore the coastal landscapes and enjoy nature.
Average rent for a studio: $2,358
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,709
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,309
Distance from San Francisco: 17 miles
Another stellar affordable suburb south of San Francisco is Burlingame. Home to 30,100 residents, Burlingame is a great option for renters looking for a less busy city — and affordable rental prices.
If you’re moving to Burlingame, make sure to check out the charming downtown area, filled with boutique shops, local restaurants and historic architecture. You can also explore the peaceful beauty of Washington Park, offering lush green spaces and tennis courts, making it an ideal spot for outdoor recreation and relaxation.
Average rent for a studio: $2,087
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,715
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,332
Distance from San Francisco: 11 miles
Ranked sixth on our list, Colma is a lesser-known San Francisco suburb. The area only has about 1,600 residents, making it feel more like a small town. Colma is a small incorporated community close to San Bruno Mountain State & County Park, featuring hiking trails and scenic views.
7. San Bruno
Average rent for a studio: $1,890
Average rent for a one-bedroom: $2,787
Average rent for a two-bedroom: $3,494
Distance from from San Francisco: 12 miles
Rounding out our list of affordable San Francisco suburbs is San Bruno. The area is 12 miles south of downtown, so this is a great area for renters who need to commute. San Bruno is also conveniently located near the San Francisco International Airport. In this city, you can find plenty of local shops, restaurants and green spaces.
Remember, if you’re looking to make the move from renter to buyer, be sure to check out the most affordable San Francisco suburbs to buy a home.
Affordability is based on whether a suburb’s one and two-bedroom rent was less than San Francisco and under 17 miles from downtown San Francisco. Average rental data from San Francisco rental market trends on October 26, 2023. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.