Moving to the City? Now Is the Time to Rent an Apartment in Manhattan or Chicago

cozy bedroom in New York City.
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Despite the global pandemic, housing markets across the U.S. have been booming over the past year. Rental markets didn’t see any spikes in value or demand like the housing market, in fact, some major metropolitan areas saw a decreasing rent value trend. However, according to data from rental platform Zumper, rental costs are accelerating at a faster rate due to growth in bigger cities.

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While New York City, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Jose saw the biggest decrease in one-bedroom rent prices year-over-year, they are also the most expensive markets for one-bedroom apartments by rent prices, according to data from Apartment Guide.

Apartment Guide gathered data on how rent prices are changing in the largest U.S. cities. The company’s data revealed that rental prices for a one-bedroom in New York City dropped by 15.2% year-over-year while the price for a two-bedroom increased by 15.3%. Los Angeles experienced a 18.4% decrease for one and two-bedroom units compared to the previous year, while Chicago had a 12.7% dip.

Of the eight most expensive cities, rent was down 16.3% in May since the beginning of the pandemic, up from January when rent was down by 20.1%, according to Zumper.

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The pandemic caused one of the biggest migrations out of big cities. Expensive coastal markets saw a drop in rental prices as people left amid lockdown orders while population booms in smaller cities including Orlando and Detroit pushed local rent prices up, reports Zumper. Now, renters are starting to return to the big cities.

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Zumper pointed out that rent prices in San Fransisco have risen significantly since the start of the pandemic, with the median rent for a one-bedroom rising 1.9% between April and May. In San Jose, rent prices for a one-bedroom have increased by 6.3%.

“The acceleration in rent growth nationally comes as expensive coastal markets are beginning to rebound while rent in cheaper cities remain flat,” reports Zumper. “Now may be the best time to rent if you want to take advantage of rates while they’re still low.”

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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