After having declined precipitously during the worst of the COVID pandemic and resulting government lockdowns, average rents across Arlington have stabilized and, ever so slightly, started to rebound.
A monthly survey by Apartment List, released March 30, pegs the month-over-month increase in average rents in Arlington at 1 percent, slightly below the 1.1-percent national increase and 43rd among the nation’s 100 largest urban areas.
But there is still ground to make up. Year-over-year rent growth in Arlington currently stands at negative 13.3 percent, the eighth steepest decline among the 100 largest urban areas during the COVID era.
Median rents in Arlington currently stand at $1,705 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,064 for a two-bedroom.
The month-over-month national increase (1.1 percent) is the third month in a row trends have been in positive territory, and the biggest monthly jump in the history of the index, which dates back to 2017.
“The data continue to exhibit significant regional variation, but the days of plummeting rents in pricey coastal markets appear to be over,” Apartment List analysts noted. “Markets where rents have been falling sharply have turned a corner.”
How so? To wit:
• Although rents in San Francisco are still down 23.2 percent year-over-year (the most nationally), the city saw a rebound of 3.4 percent in March, the biggest increase among the 100 largest cities in the country.
• Nine of the 10 cities with the sharpest year-over-year declines have now had at last two consecutive months of rising rents. Three of them (Boston, San Jose and the District of Columbia) have seen increases for three months in a row.
• Many of the mid-sized markets that have seen rents grow rapidly through the pandemic are showing that there’s still steam left in the current boom. In Boise, Idaho – which has been the hottest market of the 100 during the past year, rents jumped another 3.4 percent in a month, and are now up by 16.1 percent year-over-year.
That trend (lower rents in pricey areas and increasing rents in less expensive locales) has shrunk the affordability gap between high and low.
Last March, the median two-bedroom rent in San Francisco was $3,146, which was 3.4 times the $929 median for a two-bedroom unit in Boise. As of this March, the two-bedroom median in San Francisco has dropped to $2,410, while in Boise it has grown to $1,078, or just a 2.2-times difference.
“While still a significant price difference, the affordability gap has narrowed substantially,” Apartment List analysts noted.
In addition to San Francisco (No. 1) and Arlington (No. 7), urban areas with the largest drops in rents over the March-to-March period include New York City and Seattle (each off 19 percent); Boston and Oakland (each off 15 percent); San Jose (off 14 percent); the District of Columbia (off 13 percent); Jersey City (off 11 percent); and Chicago (off 10 percent).
For complete data, see the Website at https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/national-rent-data.