US Asking Rents Decline for Sixth Consecutive Month in January

Apartment List recently reported (1-29-23) that the US rental market started the new year logging the sixth consecutive month of negative growth, as the nationwide median rent fell by 0.3% to $1,371 per month in February.

Apartment List notes that the recent declines are in line with the rental market’s typical seasonal pattern, as fewer renters are typically looking to move in the late fall and winter months, although this year’s seasonal decline has been a bit steeper and more prolonged than usual.

Year-over-year, rental growth has bottomed out but remains in negative territory at a negative 1%. That’s quite the change from the prevailing conditions of 2021 and 2022 when rent prices were soaring and year-over-year growth peaked at 18% nationally. However, despite the recent rental market cooling, the national median rent is still more than $200 per month higher that it was three years ago.

Apartment List’s national vacancy rate index is currently at 6.5%, slightly higher than its pre-pandemic average. After a historic tightening in 2021, multifamily occupancy rates have been slowly but consistently easing for over two years. And with this year’s anticipated new-apartment completions—which are expected to bring the largest number of new apartments to market in a decade—Apartment List expects that there will continue to be an abundance of vacant units on the market as the year progresses.

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