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Apartment Building Gyms Not a Pricey Luxury for San Francisco Renters
It costs just $32 more per month to have an apartment with an in-building gym than paying separately for a gym membership

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Living in an apartment building with a gym may seem like an amenity reserved for renters in luxury buildings, but the cost difference between a gym membership and paying additional rent in a building with a fitness center is negligible, according to a new HotPads® analysis.

In San Francisco, the typical apartment building with a fitness center adds about $114 to a renter's monthly payment. With the average gym membership in the city costing about $82 a month[i], San Francisco renters pay just $32 more a month to rent in a building with a gym included – less than one percent of the city's median rent.

Saving money and getting more exercise are two of the most common New Year's resolutions[ii], and without a meaningful difference in cost between apartment building fitness centers and gym memberships, renters are better able to examine their options based solely on their personal preferences.

"Since there's a relatively small cost difference between in-building gyms and gym memberships in San Francisco, renters should consider picking an apartment based on their lifestyle and fitness goals," said Douglas Pope, co-founder and general manager of HotPads. "Renters in San Francisco may pay a bit more to rent in a building with exercise equipment, but they might be more motivated to keep up their New Year's resolution if the gym is just a short elevator ride away. On the other hand, if a renter places more importance on the expansive offerings available at membership-only gyms, he or she should prioritize those features over convenience."

When it comes to in-building gym cost and availability, each neighborhood is different. Nearly 24 percent of apartment listings in Downtown San Francisco advertise an in-building gym, more than any other neighborhood analyzed.

Renters in Downtown San Francisco also get on-site fitness centers for a bargain; the rent premium for buildings with gyms in the neighborhood is only $27 a month. Meanwhile, renters in the Tenderloin or South of Market (SoMa) can expect to pay $225 or more per month to rent in buildings with a gym – over $140 more than the average gym membership in the city.

Renter demand for on-site fitness centers is high. According to a recent study by the National Multifamily Housing Council, 82 percent of renters nationwide are interested in renting in buildings with an on-site fitness center.[iii] However, only 15 percent of apartments in San Francisco advertise a gym in the listing.

HotPads is a Zillow Group owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. For more information on San Francisco's rental market, visit

Gym Premiums in San Francisco by Neighborhood





Cost Difference
Compared to City's
Average Gym

Percentage of
Units Advertising
a Gym

City of San Francisco










South of Market





South Beach





North Waterfront





Lower Pacific Heights












HotPads is an efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, with features designed for competitive markets such as map-based search, real-time notifications and detailed information on landlords and property managers that help renters spend less time searching and more time feeling excited about their next home.

Launched in 2005, HotPads is based in San Francisco and is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG).

HotPads is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.

[ii] Based on figures from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1170 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th - 11th December 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). 
[iv] Median Apartment Rent represents the median rent for rental listings in buildings with five or more units. 
[v] To calculate the gym premium for a city or neighborhood, HotPads compared apartments with in-building fitness centers to similar apartments without in-building fitness centers, controlling for variables that can impact what an apartment costs to rent (such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, location, etc.). 
[vi] HotPads compared a city or neighborhood's gym premium to the city's average gym membership cost as reported by the Statistic Brain Research Institute to find the cost difference. A negative cost difference represents the savings of renting in a building with an on-site fitness center compared to the city's average gym membership cost.

SOURCE Hotpads, Inc.

For further information: Lauren Thompson, HotPads,