Where the rent was once too damn high, it’s suddenly gotten a whole lot cheaper.
In over one-third of the 100 largest counties nationwide, rents for one-bedroom units have declined compared to a year ago, according to a new report from Realtor.com. That’s a major turnaround from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when rents were down year-over-year in just six of these counties.
And it’s the country’s priciest markets in major tech hubs and urban areas that are seeing the fastest declines. The median rent for a one-bedroom in San Francisco is now $2,873, representing a 24% decrease from a year ago.
The cost to rent a one-bedrom has fallen by more than 10% in
six other counties across the country: San Mateo, Calif. (Bay Area) , Santa
Clara, Calif. (Silicon Valley), Suffolk, Mass. (Boston), New York, N.Y.
(Manhattan), King, Wash. (Seattle), and Honolulu, Hawaii. The Washington, D.C.,
area has also seen a precipitous drop in rents. Because of how high rents had
risen in these areas in recent years, they had the most room to fall,
Realtor.com economic data analyst Nicolas Bedo wrote in the report.
“As renters continue adapting to the pandemic, many are
seeking more affordable housing, job opportunities, and are perhaps opting for
less-crowded neighborhoods,” Bedo wrote.
But tenants in other parts of the country are seeing rents increase at a fast pace — likely a reflection of transplants from many of these expensive parts of the country moving to cheaper locales.
The median rent for a one-bedroom in Monroe County, N.Y.,
where Rochester is located, rose by nearly 13% to $1,049, the largest increase
across the country. Five other counties across the country have seen rents
climb by upwards of 10% over the last year.
“The demand in these fast-growing markets is reflected in the
growing rental prices,” Bedo wrote. Other counties that Realtor.com noted as
seeing rising rents include The Bronx, Tacoma, Wash., and Newark, N.J. These “spillover”
counties are likely absorbing transplants from larger counties nearby.
“Renting in these spillover markets provides lower rents,
more social distancing, and still allows for commuting if necessary,” Bedo