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85 Apartments for rent in San Mateo, CA

Read Guide >
Last updated September 21 at 1:42AM
780 Sea Spray Ln
Neighborhood 9
San Mateo, CA
Updated September 19 at 10:25AM
1 Bedroom
$2,711
555 Laurel Ave Unit 303
Downtown San Mateo
San Mateo, CA
Updated September 17 at 9:20AM
2 Bedrooms
$4,330
143 South Blvd
Hayward Park
San Mateo, CA
Updated September 21 at 1:42AM
Studio
$2,250
602 Celestial Ln
Neighborhood 9
San Mateo, CA
Updated September 16 at 10:44AM
2 Bedrooms
$3,600
845 Viewridge Drive
Sugarloaf
San Mateo, CA
Updated September 18 at 9:12AM
3 Bedrooms
$6,200
953 Shoreline Dr.
Marina Lagoon
San Mateo, CA
Updated September 16 at 10:36AM
2 Bedrooms
$4,500
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City Guide
San Mateo
San Mateo, California

Salutations, one and all, and welcome to the online nerve center for your San Mateo, California apartment hunting escapades! Conveniently located just 15 miles from San Francisco, San Mateo is a scenic alternative to the hustle and bustle of the “City by the Bay.” So what do you say? Are you ready to join the 93,000-plus proud peeps who call San Mateo home? Of course you are! But before you pack your windbreaker and your 49ers jersey and hit the streets in search of your future home, take a few moments to learn what life is really like in arguably San Fran’s most aesthetic suburb …

San Mateo is a Landlord’s Market

Sorry, Left Coast leasers, but it’s true. Apartments are generally available in some capacity, but unlike much of the country, San Mateo isn’t experience a massive housing surplus at the moment (less than 2.5 percent of residential buildings are currently vacant). Because the supply and demand for rentals is about even, landlords very rarely offer dynamite move-in specials or other bargain-bin incentives to attract new leasers. On the bright side, it’s not like it’s impossible (or even all that difficult) to find available apartments, lofts, or even condos in San Mateo.

San Mateo Sells Itself

Property managers probably won’t admit it, but the greatest amenity of most San Mateo apartments is the city itself. True, there are some quality digs in the city, and more than a few feature snazzy amenities like balconies, vaulted ceilings, scenic city views, and live-in maids (not really on that last one; just checking to see if you’re still with us). However, you should know that, as a San Mateo renter, you’ll be paying more for what lies outside your walls than what lies within them.

San Mateo's neighborhoods

The city also boasts a number of distinct neighborhoods. San Mateo Park is an attractive part of the city, but it’s dominated by single-family houses. A few apartments can be found in the area. The downtown area puts renters in the hub of the city’s shopping and cultural destinations and is also located close to the BART and Caltrain stations that haul commuters expediently to both San Francisco and Palo Alto. San Mateo Hills showcases a mixture of freestanding houses, apartments, townhouses, and high rises. Hillsdale on the southern edge is a suburban stomping ground that features multiple high rise apartments, while other ‘hoods for renters include Hayward Park, Baywood, and Sugarloaf. Generally speaking, the more modern units are situated west of El Camino Real, while East San Mateo apartments are generally a bit older.

San Mateo is Convenient

San Mateo residents have easy access to the surrounding communities, which the BART and Caltrain rail services provide. The SamTrans fleet of city buses do an adequate job servicing the city itself, so it’s quite possible (especially if you live in the walker-friendly downtown or near a BART or Caltrain station) to survive in the city without a car. Traffic, unfortunately, can get ugly on the El Camino Real getting in and out of the city (especially during rush hour), so do yourself and your blood pressure a favor and hop aboard one of the rail lines for your daily commute if at all possible.

San Mateo is Attraction-Filled

Attractions include a vibrant downtown shopping district, an arboretum, a tea garden, performing arts center, numerous scenic hiking and biking trails, and a pair of beachside parks.

San Mateo is Going Fast

When an attractive apartment at a decent price becomes available, it’s usually not on the market for long before someone swoops in to claim it. In other words, if you’re lucky enough to find an amazing apartment deal, don’t hesitate too long to fill out a leasing application or wait around for the price to drop, because it’s not going to happen. As always, have the basics in tow when submitting a leasing app, including proof of income, banking info, and a list of previous residences.

And now it’s time to hit the streets and scour the interwebs for the perfect apartment for you, so best of luck and happy hunting!

Rent Report
San Mateo

September 2017 San Mateo Rent Report

Welcome to the September 2017 San Mateo Rent Report. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the San Mateo rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

San Mateo rents increased marginally over the past month

San Mateo rents have increased 0.1% over the past month, and are up slightly by 1.5% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in San Mateo stand at $3,430 for a one-bedroom apartment and $4,300 for a two-bedroom. San Mateo's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 4.5%, as well as the national average of 3.0%.

Rents rising across the San Francisco Metro

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of San Mateo, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in the San Francisco metro, 9 of them have seen prices rise. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Concord has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 6.3%. The median two-bedroom there costs $2,960, while one-bedrooms go for $2,360.
  • Over the past month, Berkeley has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 2.2%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $2,690, while one-bedrooms go for $2,140.
  • San Mateo has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the San Francisco metro, with a two-bedroom median of $4,300; rents were up 0.1% over the past month and 1.5% over the past year.
  • Hayward has the least expensive rents in the San Francisco metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,660; rents increased 1.0% over the past month and 2.9% over the past year.

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to San Mateo

Rent growth in San Mateo has been relatively stable over the past year - some other large cities have seen more substantial increases; in contrast, rents in a few cities have actually declined. Compared to most large cities across the country, San Mateo is less affordable for renters.

  • Other cities across the state have seen rents increase, with California as a whole logging rent growth of 4.5% over the past year. For example, rents have grown by 5.0% in Los Angeles, 4.6% in San Diego, and 2.2% in San Jose.
  • San Mateo's median two-bedroom rent of $4,300 is above the national average of $1,160. Nationwide, rents have grown by 3.0% over the past year compared to the 1.5% rise in San Mateo.
  • While rents in San Mateo remained moderately stable this year, similar cities saw increases, including Seattle (+5.4%), Los Angeles (+5.0%), and Phoenix (+4.9%); note that median 2BR rents in these cities go for $1,710, $1,740, and $1,020 respectively.
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in San Mateo than most large cities. For example, Phoenix has a median 2BR rent of $1,020, where San Mateo is more than four times that price.

For more information check out our national report. You can also access our full data for cities and counties across the U.S. at this link.
City Median 1BR price Median 2BR price M/M price change Y/Y price change
San Francisco $2,440 $3,070 0.5% 0.8%
Fremont $2,890 $3,630 1.5% 3.2%
Hayward $2,120 $2,660 1.0% 2.9%
Concord $2,360 $2,960 -0.3% 6.3%
Berkeley $2,140 $2,690 -2.2% -0.1%
San Mateo $3,430 $4,300 0.1% 1.5%
Redwood City $2,700 $3,390 -0.4% 1.1%
San Ramon $2,970 $3,730 0.7% 2.0%
Pleasanton $2,940 $3,690 -2.0% 4.8%
Union City $2,730 $3,430 0.7% 4.3%
See more

Methodology - Recent Updates:

Data from private listing sites, including our own, tends to skew toward luxury apartments, which introduces sample bias when estimates are calculated directly from these listings. To address these limitations, we’ve recently made major updates to our methodology, which we believe have greatly improved the accuracy and reliability of our estimates.

Read more about our new methodology below, or see a more detailed post here.

Methodology:

Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.

Our approach corrects for the sample bias inherent in other private sources, producing results that are much closer to statistics published by the Census Bureau and HUD. Our methodology also allows us to construct a picture of rent growth over an extended period of time, with estimates that are updated each month.

Read more about our methodology here.

About Rent Reports:

Apartment List publishes monthly reports on rental trends for hundreds of cities across the U.S. We intend these reports to be a source of reliable information that help renters and policymakers make sound decisions, and we invest significant time and effort in gathering and analyzing rent data. Our work is covered regularly by journalists across the country.

We are continuously working to improve our methodology and data, with the goal of providing renters with the information that they need to make the best decisions.