Rents rise in all big US cities, a pandemic first

Biggest gains in Phoenix, Tampa; smallest in San Francisco, NYC

From left: Phoenix, Tampa and Las Vegas had the largest rises in rent, according to a Yardi report. (iStock)
From left: Phoenix, Tampa and Las Vegas had the largest rises in rent, according to a Yardi report. (iStock)

It’s been a long time coming, but rents were finally on the rise in every major city last month — the first time that’s been the case since the pandemic hit.

In all 30 of the top American metro areas, apartment rents were up year-over-year in August, according to a Yardi report. Bloomberg reports that the average rent in multifamily buildings rose by $25 last month, increasing the national average rent to $1,539, a 10.3 percent rise from a year ago.

While rent climbed across the country from last year, the increases varied widely. The biggest came in Phoenix, where rent was up 22.0 percent from a year ago. Tampa had the second largest rise at 20.2 percent, followed by Las Vegas at 19.2 percent. Miami also saw explosive growth as apartment rents shot up 17.5 percent over the 12 months.

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Other significant cities saw more modest gains. Chicago apartment rents rose 8 percent year-over-year and Los Angeles’s by 7 percent. New York and San Francisco saw the smallest gains in apartment rent, up 2.8 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

The latter two cities are the two most expensive in the country for renters. Last month, New York City overtook San Francisco as the costliest, at least in one study. A New York one-bedroom apartment sported an average rent of $2,810 in August, versus $2,800 in San Francisco.

Despite the increases, rents for apartments haven’t grown as much as for single-family homes, a popular option for families looking to move but priced out of the housing market or unsure of future work-from-home privileges. Since January alone, asking rents on single-family homes have jumped nearly 13 percent.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner