The COVID-19 pandemic sure shook up the rental market across America in the past year. But as numbers stabilize and folks return to their routines, new trends emerge.
In certain cities with at least 10 available units in April 2021, two-bedroom apartments saw a sharp price increase in average rent. This trend may signal a demand for more space from those cooped up in their studios during quarantine, unable to break their leases.
Keep on reading to see the main two price trends and what cities in California and New York are experiencing significant rent changes.
Things have changed drastically since last Spring when it comes to two-bedroom rents, per our May rent report. Average monthly rent is up in nearly 400 cities across the country with an active Apartment Guide inventory.
At the top of the year-over-year changes are two cities in Minnesota — Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove. These cities have increased 329 percent and 159 percent, respectively. However, these numbers may be inflated due to inventory shifts and availability trends in these cities.
Similarly, looking at the top 100 most populated cities in the country, you see a similar trend. Two-bedroom rent is also up in 54 percent of the U.S.'s most populated cities, year-over-year. The city with the most significant increase since April 2020 was Las Vegas, with a 45.6 percent increase in average monthly rent. Buffalo, NY, saw a similar increase, 41.8 percent, in its two-bedroom rents since 2020.
The Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Park retakes the top spot for the greatest increase in average monthly rent since last year. Its proximity to downtown and more available space most likely attracted residents during the past year.
One-bedrooms in the area have increased 144.55 percent year-over-year. You will now pay $1,222 on average per month versus $500 a year ago. Meridian, ID follows with an 86 percent increase in its one-bedroom apartments. In total, more than 330 cities saw their average one-bedroom monthly rent go up in the past year.
When looking at the top 100 most populated cities, about 48 percent of those top 100 cities saw a rent increase. Las Vegas takes the top spot for the highest increase year-over-year of 44 percent, followed by Virginia Beach, VA, with a rise of 32 percent.
Month-over-month trends seem to follow year-over-year trends fairly closely. While year-over-over was up by 56 percent, month-over-month was nearly similar at 57 percent for one-bedroom apartments. For two-bedroom units, the numbers were close as well — 58 percent to 53 percent for month-over-month.
City trends show higher increases in average rent prices right outside of big cities. For example, Mount Prospect, IL, is only 20 miles from Chicago. It saw significant increases in one-bedroom and two-bedrooms, 36.19 percent and 60.74 percent, respectively, from March 2021 to April 2021. During the same period, Chicago saw a slight decrease of three percent, month over month.
Another city following the same trend is Norman, OK, just 20 miles outside Oklahoma City. The city saw a 53.33 percent increase in one-bedroom average rent, month over month. You can now find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,001 on average per month in Norman. Oklahoma City only saw a slight increase in one-bedroom rents of nearly 1 percent during the same time.
California's rent prices stayed high or increased across the state, especially in Alameda and Culver City — all aided by the housing shortage and growing tech industry in the state.
Despite being almost 400 miles apart, these two coastal cities are driving up the rent prices in the state. Alameda saw a 50.67 percent increase between March 2021 and April 2021, with a current one-bedroom price of $3,617 a month on average. The city, only 40 miles from San Jose and Palo Alto, also saw a sharp increase of 46.56 percent year-over-year.
A bit farther South, Culver City has seen a significant increase month-over-month this year of 32.08 percent. You can find a one-bedroom on average for $3,617 as of April 2021. With downtown Los Angeles only 10 miles away, Culver City has become a cultural and outdoor hub for its residents. Hiking, public transportation, movie studio glamour and stellar dining are all within grasp. It's no surprise that Angelenos have migrated there.
On the other side of the spectrum, Syracuse, NY, has seen significant price decreases in the last month. One-bedroom units went down 60.76 percent, and two-bedroom units saw a 42.03 percent decrease in rent as well.
While you can now find a one-bedroom apartment for $803 per month on average, it's a drastic change from the average just a month ago of $2,046. This Upstate New York city's average monthly rent also fell year-over-year by 16.57 percent.
To determine average rent prices, we started with April 2021 data from Apartment Guide and Rent.com's multifamily rental property inventory. From there, we evaluated changes seen since April 2020. Monthly prices are based on the average price for that respective month.
We used a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Cities with fewer than 10 available units in April 2021 were excluded. The final report looked at 593 cities for one-bedroom rents and 677 for two-bedroom rents.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.