No Stopping Rent Growth in Mid-Markets
July 2, 2021
Updated July 2, 2021
2 minutes

Rent prices continue growing, especially in the Western U.S.

Rents continue to increase across the U.S., and according to the July Apartment List Rent Report, the national index jumped 2.3% in June, resulting in a 9.2% increase since the start of 2021.

In prior years, price growth from January to June is typically between 2%-3%. “Although the pandemic created some softness in the rental market last year, 2021 brought the fastest rent growth we have on record in our data,” states the report.

While growth is widespread, prices vary by region, as does price rebounds because of the pandemic downturn. For example, rents in San Francisco are down 14% from March 2020, yet prices are up 17% since January 2021. Mid-sized markets have seen a boom in growth—Spokane, Wash., showed the fastest growing rent in June at more than 8%, according to the Rent Report. Prices in Spokane are up 31% since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The national median rent is 2 percent higher than where we expect it would have been had 2020 looked like a typical year,” according to Apartment List.

Cities like San Diego and Austin, Texas, have seen substantial rebounds during the winter months and the first half of 2021, with both areas seeing median rent growth above their pre-pandemic trends. Meanwhile, locations like San Francisco and New York City are still well below their March 2020 data, but pricing is steadily increasing.

The Bay area is the hardest hit market since March 2020, with San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose the top three cities with the largest rent declines. New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C. follow, each with at least 6% declines in rent since March 2020.

The hot market of Boise, Idaho, continues its rent increases, up 39% since March 2020; Spokane was second. Fresno, Calif., Glendale, Ariz., and Virginia Beach, Va., are each up at least 20% since March 2020. Four of the top 10 cities are in Arizona, and all cities are in the Western U.S except Virginia Beach.