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Rents Were Mixed In Q2, New Report Shows, With Some Cities Seeing Price Hikes

U.S. apartment rental rates were all over the map during the second quarter, according to a new report by Apartment Guide, which is a brand of digital media company RentPath.

While a number of large cities experienced falling rents, others continued to see rising rents, particularly in areas with high demand. During the second quarter, rents fell in a number of major cities that were also COVID-19 hot spots, 2020 Mid-Year Rent Report said, while other areas with high rates of infection or mortality saw rents spike.

Between April and June 2020, rents were down in Los Angeles by 5.42%, Miami by 3.97%, Seattle by 2.33% and Houston by 1.69%. Each of those places experienced high rates of COVID-19 infection at some point during the quarter (information for LA is here, Miami here, Seattle here and Houston here). Each of those cities experienced drops in rent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020, the report says.

The counter-trend was rising rents in other hot spots. New York City, an epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic during Q2, has mixed data, but experienced a 5.5% rise in rents, Apartment Guide reports, though other reports have found that rents are falling in New York. Other hard-hit cities with rental rate hikes in the second quarter include New Orleans (up 4.82%) and Phoenix (up 7.28%), with COVID information for New Orleans here and for Phoenix here.

Overall, rental movement is similarly mixed, regardless of a city's coronavirus infection rates, according to the report. For an example that is a little more focused than average citywide rents, average rent for one-bedroom apartments citywide increased year-over-year in nine of the largest 25 U.S. cities, but dropped in the other 16 cities.

New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas all experienced annual one-bedroom rental increases, while Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio saw declines. Data for average studio apartment rents, as well as two-bedroom apartments, is mixed as well.

Month-over-month changes likewise hint at current disruptions to some, but not all, city apartment markets. Out of the 33 cities with decreases for the month in June, two-thirds (67%) had enjoyed rent price increases over the same month in 2019, the report shows.

Apartment Guide used its own multifamily property data to generate the report, as well as that from Rent.com, another RentPath brand. It used a weighted average formula to reduce the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

Related Topics: multifamily rents, COVID-19, pandemic