A little good news for renters. We’re not talking to you LA and Manhattan

The average rent ticked down for the first time nearly 2 years...in most cities

Rents are flat or stagnate in many US cities (Credit: iStock)
Rents are flat or stagnate in many US cities (Credit: iStock)

The housing market has been slowing across the nation, and now rent prices have finally begun to fall. Very very slightly.

The average rent across major U.S. cities dipped for the first time on a monthly basis since February 2017. This was not the case in Manhattan or Los Angeles, however.

From August to September, average monthly rent decreased $1, or 0.1 percent, according RentCafe. September’s average rent stood at $1,471.

Still, the slowing appears to be consistent across markets — rents either dropped or remained the same in a majority of the 260 cities tracked. RentCafe pinned the trend on a volatile financial climate.

Not surprisingly, Manhattan and Los Angeles bucked the trend.

Rents increased 1.5 percent in Manhattan to $4,336 and 1.2 percent in L.A. to $2,256, according to the report. In June, New York state passed sweeping rent reform. California passed its own rent control law last month, which doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1.

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California Assembly Bill 1482 caps annual rent hikes on hundreds of thousands of units statewide at 5 percent plus inflation, which is usually around 3 percent. Over the course of 12 months, that comes out to a roughly 0.6 percent increase each month.

While rents grew in Manhattan — it is by far the most expensive place to rent in the country — growth was effectively flat in San Francisco, which is the second priciest rental market. Last month, the average cost to rent in the city stood at $3,703.

Chicago registered a 0.4 percent drop ($1,998), while Miami ($1,705) saw a 0.1 percent growth, which mirrored other cities in its category.

The report broke out New York City by borough, and found that rents in Brooklyn ($2,956) grew by 0.5 percent, while in Queens ($2,570), they dropped by 0.3 percent.
The cities that experienced the sharpest rent decreases, according to RentCafe, were San Jose, California, Boston and Portland, Oregon.

What’s the cheapest of the 260 cities to rent a home? Wichita, Kansas.

The average rent is just $657, according to the report. Only 14 cities surveyed had average rents under $800 per month. Most of them are smaller cities in the Midwest and Southwest.