While most apartment markets across the nation lost pricing power in the economic turmoil of the past year, Virginia Beach thrived. In fact, as of March 2021, annual effective asking rent growth reached a new high at 5.7%. It’s been 15 years since Virginia Beach saw price hikes this impressive. Over the past five years, rent growth has averaged 2.5% in this market. The five-year average for the U.S. overall was similar at 2.4%, though rents were cut 0.7% year-over-year as of March, with price declines driven deep by the nation’s gateway markets. Virginia Beach’s economic base was insulated by positions in the federal government and the defense industry, but the market did lose jobs – and pricing power – in 2020. Unlike some other big markets, however, operators here didn’t resort to rent cuts in the past year, and growth bottomed out at 2.3% in May before heading upward once again.