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ArlingtonUp, up and away: Apartment rents keep climbing in Arlington

Up, up and away: Apartment rents keep climbing in Arlington

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Apartment renters in Arlington, typically, are still paying the highest rates in the Washington region, and prices keep on heading higher.

The median rental prices of $2,151 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,573 for two bedrooms in Arlington were the highest in the metro area, according to monthly data reported Aug. 30 by Apartment List.

Arlington’s year-over-year rate of appreciation stood at 9.7 percent, 45th nationally albeit slightly lower than the national increase of 10 percent.

Despite an initial drop in prices at the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, Arlington apartment-rental rates now stand nearly 12 percent higher than February 2020 figures.

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Apartment List reports seven straight months of increases for the Arlington market, which have maintained the county’s place at the price-wise peak among jurisdictions throughout the Washington region. Looking at comparable communities, median rents for two-bedroom units stood at $2,350 in Rockville, $2,280 in Bethesda, $2,190 in Alexandria and $2,020 in Silver Spring.

Nationally, the median two-bedroom apartment rental of $1,354 for August was up 0.5 percent, a slowing pace. So far in 2022, rents are up 7.2 percent from August 2021, about half the 14.8-percent increase recorded between August 2020 and August 2021.

Rents increased in 79 of the nation’s 100 largest urban areas in August, according to Apartment List analysts, but in 68 of those 79 cities, rent growth was slower in August than in July.

“Annual rent growth remains elevated (15+ percent) in Florida, as well as a handful of major metropolitan areas, including San Diego and New York City,” analysts noted.

“Major markets throughout the Sun Belt have experienced virtually uninterrupted rent growth since the start of the pandemic, but over the past six months, the fastest growth has been occurring in two types of cities: pricey coastal markets as well as Great Lakes metros,” they added.

And the August data finally did what had been anticipated for several months, showing that San Francisco (which saw a huge dropoff in apartment-rental prices at the onset of the pandemic) finally is back to its pre-pandemic levels. It was the last of the 100 urban areas in the survey to reach the pre-pandemic level.

After bottoming out at 4.1 percent in October 2021, Apartment List’s national apartment-vacancy rose to 5.1 percent in August and has shown nearly one full year of continued, albeit slow, easing.

“Rental vacancies are heavily dependent on housing availability in the for-sale market, and it’s possible that spiking mortgage rates have kept the rental-vacancy rate from rebounding quickly post-pandemic,” analysis noted.

“High interest rates can sideline potential first-time homebuyers and keep them in the rental market longer. Two years of sustained rent inflation may also be incentivizing renters to stay put and renew existing leases, rather than looking for new ones.”
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For the recently released Arlington report, see the Website at https://www.apartmentlist.com/va/arlington#rent-report.

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