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Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List December Rental Report: Rents in Major Cities Continue to Decline Double Digits

January 24 2021

Rent prices for one- and two-bedroom apartments were up compared to this time last year

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2021 -- Major urban markets, such as San Francisco and Manhattan, continue to see double-digit declines compared to last year, but rent increases in less dense areas have kept nationwide rents growing for one- and two-bedroom units, according to the December rental report released today. Nationally, the median rent for studio apartments was down 0.7% year-over-year, rent for one-bedrooms was up 0.8%, and rent for two-bedrooms was up 2.6% year-over-year.

"Right now is a great time for renters in major cities to lock in a low price for 2021," said® Chief Economist, Danielle Hale. "But renters in some other areas are seeing a very different trend. With more flexibility and more time at home, renters have sought out extra space, driving up rents in the suburbs and less dense markets. As vaccines are being rolled out nationwide, the question is, how much longer will these trends continue? What's clear, is that the mantra of real estate being local very much applies to rents, not just home prices."

San Francisco led the nation in declines with average monthly rents falling 33.8%, 25.5% and 22.8% for studio, one-bedroom and two-bedrooms units year-over-year, respectively. Rents for studios and one-bedrooms in nearby Santa Clara, Calif. and San Mateo, Calif. counties also saw double-digit decreases in December. Outside of the Bay Area, Manhattan, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. were among the metros seeing the largest year-over-year declines. These markets also represent some of the most expensive cities in the country, giving rents the most room to fall.

In December, the median studio rent in Manhattan was $2,288, down 21.0% year-over-year. Median one-bedroom rent in Manhattan was $3,100, down 18.4% compared to last year. Median two-bedroom rent in Manhattan was $5,200 in December, down 16.1% compared to last year.

When it comes to rent increases, Sacramento, Calif. is leading the nation with average monthly rent increasing 20.3%, 12.4%, and 9.1% for studio, one-bedroom and two-bedrooms year-over-year, respectively. It was followed by New Haven County, Conn.; Essex County, N.J.; and Monroe County, N.Y., which saw average gains of 13.3%, 11.9%, and 11.9%, respectively.

To see the full report, including which metros had the greatest increase in rent prices, see here.

Top 10 Markets for Studio Rent Decreases - December 2020

rdc December Rental Report 1

Top 10 Markets for 1-Bed Rent Decreases - December 2020

rdc December Rental Report 2

Top 10 Markets for 2-Bed Rent Decreases - December 2020

rdc December Rental Report 3

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