Real State

Rents Creep Down Across the Country

The past few years have been a roller coaster for the American rental market. First, the pandemic emptied city apartments, causing rents to plummet and landlords to offer concessions just to fill their units. When renters eventually returned — their numbers expanded by would-be buyers frustrated by rising home prices and competition — landlords raised rents to record levels to meet higher demand and inflation.

Today, rents remain much higher than they were a year ago in all but 10 U.S. cities, according to Zumper’s October National Rent Report, which examined the 100 largest U.S. cities. At the high end, one-bedroom rents were up 40 percent in Chesapeake, Va., and two-bedroom rents were up 33 percent in Knoxville, Tenn. The most expensive rents for units of both sizes were found in New York City.

But in looking at recent month-over-month changes in median rent, a new trend has emerged: After peaking in April, the national median rent for both one- and two-bedroom units has been falling in the 100 largest U.S. cities, according to Zumper’s report. The changes are small — a decrease of just under 1 percent from September to October — but significant in that rents for both types of unit declined in tandem for the first time in two years.

From September to October, one-bedroom rents were down in 61 cities, unchanged in 19 and up in 20. Two-bedroom rents were down in 60 cities, unchanged in 15 and up in 25.

This week’s chart focuses on the good: the 25 cities where rents fell by the greatest percentage over a month, based on Zumper’s report.

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