U.S. apartment rents remain relatively flat in January

Across the nation, rents for one-bedroom apartments were flat on a year-over-year basis this past January, while two-bedroom rents grew by 0.7%, according to rental website Zumper.

On a monthly basis, one- and two-bedroom rents each rose 0.3%, reaching median monthly prices of $1,220 and 1,464, respectively.

The largest markets in the country saw a mixed bag of growth rates. Despite trimming 1.7% from its one-bedroom rents and 1.9% from its two-bedroom rents on an annual basis, for example, San Francisco held onto its title as the most expensive rental market in the nation — $3,520 for a one-bedroom unit and $4,550 for a two-bedroom unit.

Other expensive markets also saw rent decreases. Seattle and San Diego — both among the nation’s top 10 most expensive cities for one- and two-bedroom apartments — saw rents fall for both property types on a monthly and yearly basis last month. Seattle logged an annual drop of 12.7% in its two-bedroom rents, the steepest decline among the top 10.

On the flipside, New York City — already with the second-priciest one-bedroom rents in the country — posted a year-over-year gain of 7.9%, ending last month at $3,000. Washington, D.C., saw its two-bedroom rates jump annually by 15.1% to $3,050, tied for the third-priciest market in the U.S.

Year over year, the fastest growing one-bedroom rent in the country last month belonged to Cleveland, with its 16% growth rate bringing the median rent to $940. On a month-over-month basis, the largest one-bedroom growth rate was in St. Louis (4.9%), which jumped three spots in Zumper’s ranking to become the 71st-priciest city in the U.S. at $860.

Conversely, the largest year-over-year drop in one-bedroom rent prices last month occurred in Syracuse, New York, which shed 14.9% from January 2019 to January 2020 to start this year at $800. One-bedroom rents in Providence, Rhode Island, saw the largest monthly decrease, falling 5.2% to $1,270. Providence also saw a stark year-over-year decline at 14.8%, tied with Baltimore for the second-largest retreat among the cities tracked by Zumper.

Zumper’s monthly rent reports are aggregated from more than 1 million active listings nationwide, a combination of proprietary listings and third-party listings from listing-service providers. The company uses that data to compute median asking rents for the 100 largest cities in the country, as well as 300 additional cities within major metropolitan areas.


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