Rents on the Rise, But Pace of Growth Slowing

September 7, 2021 |

Updated September 7, 2021

2 minutes

New research reveals rents continue to increase, leaving only a handful of markets with rents lower than they were pre-pandemic.

Rents across the U.S. have pulled back slightly; however, they are still increasing dramatically since the start of 2021. The September Apartment National Rent Report from Apartment List shows the index increased 2.1% from July to August compared to 2.5% the previous month.

The national median rent has jumped 13.8% since January 2021. The average rent increase between January and August was 3.6% between 2017-2019.

Only a handful of locations have rents lower now than they were pre-pandemic. For example, San Francisco rents are 12% lower than in March 2020. However, since January 2021, prices have increased 20%. Rent growth has covered pre-pandemic averages in 98 of the country’s 100 largest cities. Since March 2020, Oakland is tied with neighboring San Francisco with a 12% decline in rent prices. Minneapolis, San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C., are also among the cities with declines.

Prices increased nearly 6% in New York City from July to August—the fastest rate in the U.S. Median rent prices in New York are at $2,052, marking the first time they have surpassed $2,000 since March 2020. In Los Angeles, rent growth continued at the pace of 2.5% from month to month, putting the median rent price at $1,874.

Meanwhile, mid-sized markets, especially in the West, have seen a boom in pricing. Boise, Idaho, has a positive rent growth of 39% since March 2020. Spokane, Wash., has closed the gap with Boise. Prices rose 2.1% in Spokane from July to August, while Boise rents climbed 0.8%. Arizona saw four cities make the top 10 list, and Florida had two.