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Overbuilding Pushes Rents Down In Most Expensive U.S. Markets

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San Francisco painted ladies skyline
credit: Samuel Wantman

A jump in supply forced national rents down in March, with the top-performing rental markets in the country showing inconsistent rent levels. 

From February to March rents fell in San Francisco, Chicago and Nashville yet rose in Seattle, Houston and Long Beach. The Zumper National Rent Index reported rents were down less than 1% to $1,142 for one-bedroom units nationally, but grew 0.5% to $1,353 for two-bedroom units, Construction Dive reports

In addition, analysts said Chicago inventory levels will rise 150% from 2005 to 2018, and said New York City rents are down 10% from a year ago as the tight lending environment slows deals. In February, Manhattan rents dropped to a four-year low, as more construction has given tenants the ability to move to newer, more modern apartments — especially with New York landlords offering a slew of concessions to stay competitive.