Arlington’s rebound from COVID-era declines in apartment-rental rates hit headwinds over the past month, providing a respite for prospective tenants who wondered how high they would go.
The average rental rate for an Arlington unit over the past month was down 0.4 percent compared to the month before, according to figures reported Nov. 1 by Apartment List. Arlington’s rental rates averaged $2,032 for one-bedroom units and $2,460 for two-bedroom units.
Arlington was one of 22 of the nation’s 100 largest urban areas to see pullbacks in rental rates over the month. Nationally, the month-over-month increase in rents stood at 0.8 percent, a figure that is large by historical norms (averaging 0.3 percent from September to October in recent years) but the lowest national growth rate since February.
Nationally, things seem to be “turning a corner for the unprecedented rent growth that has characterized most of the year,” analysts Chris Salvati, Igor Popov, Rob Warnock and Lilla Szini said in their report, which can be found at https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/national-rent-data.
Arlington was one of the urban areas that saw a significant drop-off in rents during the initial blast of the COVID crisis, only to then rebound.
Now up 13.2 percent in the past year, Arlington rents (even with the October pullback) stand 3 percent higher than in March 2020, when the pandemic pandemonium hit.
National rents are up 16.4 percent since the start of 2021, compared to an average 3.2-percent appreciation in typical years.
But even some of the mighty markets are seeing cooling. In Boise, Idaho – which has been the superstar of the rental market with huge increases since COVID hit – the average rental rate dropped 3.1 percent from September to October, although it remains up 34 percent from pre-pandemic times.
That decline allowed Tampa to claim the title of fastest-growing in the pandemic era, with an increase in average rental rates of 36 percent. Cities in Nevada and Arizona also have been showing increases of more than 30 percent.
On the other hand, the San Francisco Bay area has yet to get back to its pricey pre-pandemic levels, with average rents being down 12 percent in San Francisco itself, 8 percent in Oakland and 4 percent in San Jose.
Other major cities are above pre-pandemic rates, but not by huge amounts: Seattle is up 1 percent, New York City 2 percent, Chicago and Boston 3 percent. The District of Columbia is down 1 percent since March 2020.
Vacancy rates were up for the second month in a row across the nation, according to the Apartment List data. But the rate of 4.1 percent is down from the 7.1 percent recorded at the worst of the pandemic, and remains below all of 2019, as well.