Median apartment-rental rates in Arlington ticked up over the last month, standing highest in the Washington region and up a bit from pre-pandemic times.
The median rental rate for units in Arlington stood at $1,999 for a one-bedroom and $2,420 for a two-bedroom, based on the monthly data report of Apartment List.
That’s up 0.7 percent from a month before, on par with the national increase of 0.8 percent. For the 12-month period ending in March, Arlington rents were up 16.8 percent compared to a statewide increase of 14.2 percent and a national jump of 17.1 percent. Among the 100 urban areas in the survey, Arlington ranked 43rd for total appreciation.
Much of the increase in Arlington rentals rates over the past year has been a game of catch-up, as many urban areas like Arlington saw major dropoffs in median apartment-rental prices during the first months of COVID. Now two years into the pandemic, Arlington rents are up 1.4 percent from where they stood in February 2020.
(The Apartment List report can be found at https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/national-rent-data. Figures include a representative sampling of apartments in each area, and tend to skew more toward luxury units.)
Arlington’s $2,420 median rate for a two-bedroom unit is the highest among communities surveyed in the Washington region. Rounding out the top five were Rockville ($2,280), Bethesda ($2,210), Alexandria ($2,180) and Centreville ($2,120)
After wild swings up and down in 2020 and 2021, the national rental market seems to be stabilizing but on an upward trajectory, noted the Apartment List analysis presented by Chris Salvati, Igor Popov, Rob Warnock and Lilla Szini.
“So far this year, rents are growing more slowly than they did in 2021, but faster than the growth we observed in the years immediately preceding the pandemic,” they noted. “Over the first three months of 2022, rents have increased by a total of 1.8 percent, but we’re just beginning to enter the busy season for the rental market, when the bulk of annual rent growth typically occurs.”
Rents increased in 93 of the nation’s 100 largest urban areas in the latest report , with Sun Belt markets in Florida and Arizona continuing to see some of the nation’s fastest growth.
Since the onset of the pandemic, six of the metropolitan areas in the survey have seen median apartment-rental rates up more than 30 percent, led by Tampa (37%) and followed by Riverside (Calif.), Phoenix, Miami, Las Vegas and Tucson.
On the other side of the coin, San Francisco and San Jose are the only two metropolitan areas among the 100 that are still below pre-pandemic levels, with median rents down 4 percent in the former and 3 percent in the latter.
Over the past six months, Miami has led all comers in appreciation, up 30 percent. Among metro areas where median prices have declined in the past six months: Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston and Baltimore.
On the supply side, Apartment List’s national vacancy index is continuing to slowly inch up, indicating a gradual easing of the tight market conditions that have characterized the rental market over the past year.
The vacancy index hit 4.6 percent in March, continuing a seven-month streak of increases after bottoming out at 3.8 percent last August.
“Tightness in the rental market is finally beginning to ease,” analysts noted. “However, the vacancy situation still remains historically tight.”