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ArlingtonApartment rents push further into stratosphere

Apartment rents push further into stratosphere

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Inflation, what inflation? Oh, wait, here it is: The median rental price for an Arlington apartment grew 2.8 percent from June to July, according to new data, ranking the county third nationally among the 100 largest urban areas in terms of price growth.

With the increase, Arlington’s median rent now stands at $2,121 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,538 for two bedrooms, according to data reported July 28 by Apartment List. It is the sixth straight month of increases. The national average is $1,358.

In terms of year-over-year change, Arlington’s jump was further back in the pack, with its increase of 11.2 percent standing at 56th among the 100 largest urban areas to retain its crown as the priciest D.C.-region community in the Apartment List survey. Rockville, at $2,330 for a two-bedroom unit, is second.

The monthly report tends to skew toward apartment complexes with more amenities, and as a result admittedly does not paint a complete picture of the apartment-rental market. But it is good for comparisons between communities, and to check trends over time. (See the full local report at https://www.apartmentlist.com/va/arlington#rent-report.)

While Arlington’s rental rates dipped at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, they have rebounded and then some, with the median rent now up by 10.3 percent from the start of the COVID crisis.

One wishing to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Arlington would pay, median-wise, more than those in seemingly pricier areas such as New York City ($2,230), Los Angeles ($2,200), Boston ($2,140) and Seattle ($2,040). Areas like Chicago ($1,440) and Philadelphia ($1,330) were significantly less.
At the national level, rental prices continue to rise, but the increases have abated somewhat compared to a year before.

“So far this year, rents are growing more slowly than they did in 2021, but faster than they did in the years immediately preceding the pandemic,” Apartment List analysts noted. “Over the first seven months of 2022, rents have increased by a total of 6.7 percent, compared to an increase of 12 percent over the same months of 2021. Year-over-year rent growth currently stands at 12.3 percent, but has been trending down since the start of the year from a peak of 18 percent.”

Rents increased month-over-month in July in 87 of the nation’s 100 largest cities. The Miami metro has seen the nation’s fastest rent growth over the past year, but elsewhere in the Sun Belt, the booming Phoenix and Las Vegas markets have shown signs of cooling in recent months.
Big bumps up can be found in unusual places: Jersey City – Jersey City? – has seen rents spike 27 percent over the past 12 months, among the largest percentage jumps among the 100 communities and part of booming rates of growth in the New York metro area.

(See the national report at https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/national-rent-data.)

On the supply side, Apartment List’s national vacancy index held steady at 5 percent in new data.

“Our vacancy index has been gradually easing from a low of 4.1 percent last fall, but that easing now appears to be leveling off at a rate that remains well below the pre-pandemic norm,” analysts said. “This may be at least partially attributable to spiking mortgage rates, which can contribute to tightness in the rental market by sidelining potential first-time homebuyers from the for-sale market and keeping these households in rental units for longer.”

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