In May we reported little movement in median nationwide rents, and that trend has continued into June. One-bedroom apartments did manage a small gain of $5.00 to $1,097 — up an anemic 1.01 percent for the year — while two-bedroom units fell ever so slightly by $3.00 — down a statistically insignificant 0.15 percent for the year.
Unlike last month, however, we do see more upward movement on the top levels of our top 10 one-bedroom and two-bedroom increasers. Top ten one-bedroom and two-bedroom losers did stay tightly bunched with no double-digit movers.
Our top ten gainer list includes the first double-digit increase we’ve seen recently, and even the cities on the bottom of that list showed increased median rents of more than 3 percent. Our top ten losers didn’t practice too much social distancing as they reported decreases in a tight range from 2.58 to 6.86 percent.
Fort Lauderdale, FL surprisingly posted a big 12.48 percent rise to a median $1,577 while Winston-Salem, NC also reported a double-digit gain of 11.7 percent to a median $955. Tornado Alley locale Wichita, KS gained 7.2 percent and another North Carolina city—Durham–increased to $1,342–a 5.5 percent gain.
St. Louis, MO placed fourth on our gainers list rising 4.88 percent and Virginia Beach, VA was not far behind as it reported a median rent gain of 4.42 percent.
Dayton OH was alone in seventh place reporting a 3.89 percent rise to $641, and St. Petersburg, FL and New Haven CT boasted identical 3.83 percent increases.
At the bottom of our list, Detroit, MI added 3.61 percent.
Fort Lauderdale’s 12.48 percent rise easily made it the most expensive place to live on our list of gainers at $1577, and Dayton, OH was the most affordable at only $641.
Only a little more than 4 percentage points separated the 10 cities on our biggest loser list with Charleston, SC on top with a 6.86 percent loss to $1,520. Scottsdale, AZ, El Paso, TX, and Honolulu, HI all fell between 3.56 and 3.86 percent.
Salt Lake City, UT lost 3.2 percent to $1,180, and Title Town, U.S.A. a/k/a Green Bay, WI fell 3.08 percent to a median $629.
Denton, TX reported a fall of 2.98 percent, and both Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, FL lost 2.58 percent.
Oklahoma City, OK barely made it onto our top ten one-bedroom losers list with a 2.58 percent drop to $793.
Washington, D.C.’s median $2,377 rent easily made that city the least affordable on our list while Green Bay’s $629 median rent proved it was the cheapest place to reside.
Like their one-bedroom cousins, our two-bedroom gainers broke into double-digits while the losers’ declines were more limited.
Norfolk, VA gained a hefty 10.68 percent to $1,119, and hot Fort Lauderdale appeared on our top ten two-bedroom gainers list also with a 7.89 percent upward move. New Haven, CT was in third place with a median rent of $1,431, rising 7.27 percent.
Cities in fourth to tenth place were tightly bunched as Baton Rouge, LA led the pack up 6.46 percent, and Kansas City, MO was next at $1,210, gaining 6.42 percent. Another Missouri city–St. Louis–followed with a 5.62 percent move to a median $1,052.
Then, Cleveland, OH, Rochester, N.Y., Greensboro, NC and Dayton, OH all rose from 4.36 percent to 4.75 percent.
The cheapest two June two-bedroom? That would be Dayton, OH at $814. And no surprise, the priciest two-bedroom unit on our top ten two-bedroom gainers list was Fort Lauderdale at a not-unreasonable $1,833.
El Paso, TX lost 5.49 percent as the city reported a median rent of $913. Charleston, SC fell 5.04 percent to $1,620, and very pricey San Francisco, CA fell almost 5 percent to a still stratospheric $4,819.
Pleasant Scottsdale, AZ declined 4.1 percent, and Gainesville FL decreased by 3.92 percent to $1,152. Memphis, TN at $896 lost 3.76 percent. Washington, D.C., Nashville, TN and Denton, TX moved slightly downward between 2.03 and 2.13 percent, and Tallahassee, FL brought up the rear falling 1.91 percent to $1,045.
San Francisco was by far the priciest locale at the aforementioned at $4,819, and Memphis, TN was quite a contrast as a two-bedroom apartment could be rented there for only $896.
Rent Report Recap & What’s Next?
In May we posed a number of questions regarding the pandemic’s effect on nationwide rental prices, and our prediction of a flat market seems to be correct thus far.
Landlords are wary of losing tenants and seem to be reticent to ask for increased rents. Many tenants are living more frugally either by choice or by necessity, and that once-coveted luxury apartment in downtown Austin may not look so appealing right now. Therefore, many landlords feel that even a slightly below-market rent is better than no rent at all, and many increases have temporarily been halted. In addition, with local and federal rules barring evictions, landlords do not want to do anything to disturb paying tenants.
The long-term effects of COVID-19 are still to be seen. If the current recession clears quickly, we anticipate that both apartment construction and demand will resume their recent increases. If the economy enters a prolonged phase of malaise, we could see new construction financing evaporate, and that could eventually put upward pressure on rents because of basic supply and demand.
See you next month as we continue to traverse these strange times.
Each month, using millions of Rentable listings across the United States, we calculate the median 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom rent prices by city, state, and nation, and track the month-over-month percent change. To avoid small sample sizes, we restrict the analysis for our reports to cities meeting minimum population and property count thresholds.
For press inquiries, please contact Sam Radbil.