National rent prices jumped again in June by 2.3 percent and now are up 9.2 percent so far in 2021, according to the latest report from Apartment List.
In previous years, rent growth from January to June is usually just two to three percent, the report said.
“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. Nationally, and in many individual cities across the country, rents have now surpassed the level where they would have been if rent growth had not been disrupted by the pandemic,” said housing economists Chris Salviati, Igor Popov, and Rob Warnock in the report.
The report said that individual cities have also seen “pandemic pricing” come and go.
“This month, rents caught up with pre-pandemic expectations in a handful of major markets including Austin and San Diego. Meanwhile, prices remain below the pre-pandemic trend in some of the hardest-hit markets, like New York and San Francisco.”
Boise, Gilbert and Chandler lead mid-sized rent-price growth
The report says mid-sized cities continue to boom.
“As expensive coastal cities watched rents plummet throughout 2020, another group of mid-sized markets were heating up. The pandemic and remote work spurred demand for the space and affordability that these cities offered, and in response, rent prices grew even as the surrounding economy struggled. Even while rent declines in expensive markets have reversed course, the cities where rents have been growing fastest are continuing to boom,” the Apartment List report says.
In addition, the pandemic “did not start a new trend in these markets, so much as accelerate an existing one. For example, from 2017 through 2019, rents in Mesa, Ariz., increased 25.5 percent, the fastest growth in the nation over that period. Similarly, Fresno, Calif., ranked third for fastest rent growth, while Chandler, Ariz., ranked sixth.”
The national rent prices report concludes by saying, “More broadly, rental inventory across the nation remains tight, and as vaccine distribution continues to gain momentum, we may be seeing the release of pent-up demand from renters who had been delaying moves due to the pandemic. Whereas last year’s peak moving season was halted by the pandemic, this year’s seasonal spike appears to be making up for lost time.”