It was shaken up at the worst of the COVID crisis, but the Arlington apartment rental market continues to come back to life, according to data analysis by Apartment List.
With an average rental rate of $1,962 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,375 for a two-bedroom unit, Arlington’s monthly rental rate in August was up 3.6% from July , compared to a 2.6% increase nationally, ranking the county 22nd among the nation’s 100 largest urban areas.
In a year-over-year comparison, the average apartment rental rate in August was up 3.1% from summer 2020. Last year, this time the change of a year-over-year was negative 5.9% due to the pandemic and uncertainty. on the economic future of the region.
Nationally, the rental market appears to have outgrown the COVID crisis and rants are now “far above what they would be” even if COVID hadn’t happened, analysts said. from Apartment List Chris Salvati, Igor Popov and Rob Warnock during a July 26 briefing. (See full data at https://bit.ly/3y8RN1o.)
“Rents remain below pre-pandemic levels in just 13 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, and even in those markets prices are rebounding rapidly,” analysts said.
Indeed: since January, rents in some of the city corridors most affected by the pandemic and the resulting government-mandated closures have seen some of the largest increases.
San Francisco, which has seen the largest rent decline in the months since the onset of COVID, has seen average rental rates rise more than 17% since the start of 2021. Even stronger rebounds have been seen in Boston (+23% since January), Seattle (+22%) and New York (+21%).
Despite the rebounds, however, rental rates are still down 14% from pre-COVID highs in San Francisco, and remain in negative territory in locales such as Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland and Jersey City. In the District of Columbia, average rents are still down about 5%.
The boom in mid-sized community rental rates continues, with Boise (up 39% since the start of COVID) still leading the pack. It was followed by Spokane, Washington (average rental rate up 32% since the start of the pandemic) and Fresno (up 26%).
For thriving markets, strong growth was happening before COVID upended the national scene.
“In many of these markets, the pandemic has not so much triggered a new trend as accelerated an existing one,” the analysts said. “For example, from 2017 to 2019, rents in Mesa, Arizona grew 25.5%, the fastest growth in the country over that time. Similarly, Fresno ranked third in growth fastest rents.
The future remains uncertain, but if things continue to move in the right economic and health direction, a sustained growth in rental prices seems inevitable.
“Rental inventory across the country remains tight, and as the economic recovery continues to gain momentum, we may see the release of pent-up demand from tenants who had delayed moves due to the pandemic,” analysts said. “While last year’s peak moving season was interrupted by the pandemic, this year’s seasonal peak is more than making up for lost time.”
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