Rent Growth Tops Pre-Pandemic Norms in Some Markets

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A handful of apartment markets are seeing rent growth top performances from a year ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic decline began. The nation overall saw effective asking rent cuts of 0.9% in the year-ending February, quite a difference from growth of 2.9% the U.S. was seeing in February 2020. Out of the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets, only 14 are logging stronger rent growth now than they were before the pandemic decline. And some markets – in general benefitting from relative affordability and modest new supply volumes in recent years – have outperformed notably. Riverside saw the nation’s biggest rent growth bump during the pandemic, with an annual price hike of 9%, ranking well ahead of the 4.5% increase this market was seeing before the downturn began a year ago. Despite such an increase, average effective asking rents in Riverside remain $465 behind prices in nearby Los Angeles. Other markets that have seen notable increases in price positioning in the past year include Virginia Beach, Sacramento, Greensboro/Winston-Salem and Memphis.