Apartment Rents are Rebounding

Posted on March 15, 2021

Unlike other sectors, apartments have weathered the pandemic reasonably well.

Now, rents sit just 0.1% lower than where they were last June, according to Apartment List. In fact, after COVID-19’s initial shock to the market last Spring, national rent growth followed seasonal trends in the following eight months.

In February, Apartment List’s rent index increased 0.7% month-over-month. In the previous three years, February rent growth was only 0.3%. This was the second straight month that rent growth beat the average increase.

February’s 0.7% increase was also the largest monthly increase since the summer of 2019. Apartment List says year-over-year, rents are now down by 0.8% nationally. However, last month they were down 1.2% year-over-year. So things are improving.

While there are still regional variations, the months of steep rent declines appear to be coming to an end. For apartment owners in pricey coastal markets, that is welcome news. In February, San Francisco and Seattle saw positive month-over-month growth for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to Apartment List.

On the other hand, the mid-sized markets, like Boise, that have experienced strong rent growth through the pandemic are still enjoying increases. Many of these cities have seen an influx of new residents as people left large urban areas during the pandemic. Apartment List says the ten cities with the fastest year-over-year rent growth saw price increases continue in February.

As more Americans become vaccinated over the coming, expect to see the economy improve and the rent situation get even better.

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