Rent is Going Up Almost Everywhere — Here Are 10 Cities Where it’s Going Down

A for rent sign in the window of a House.
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Renters in the United States had a rough go of it in 2021, with rental prices rising in double-digits in much of the country and the Supreme Court blocking a moratorium on evictions that was enacted during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. But rental rates in some urban areas headed the other way, declining in 2021 despite the national trend.

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Those lower rents occurred in some of the nation’s biggest cities, too — including Atlanta and Philadelphia — according to a new report from Rent.com. Most of the cities are located in the South and Midwest, though a couple in the Northeast and West also appear on the list.

The Rent.com report, released on Friday, found that the average national rent for a one-bedroom apartment increased 22% over the last year, while the rent for a two-bedroom apartment climbed 18%.

Those figures are close to what other industry sources have found. A new report from Redfin found that the average monthly listed rents in the U.S. rose 14.1% year over year to $1,877 in December. That was the largest annual gain since at least February 2019, when Redfin started tracking rental data.

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If you are hunting for a market where rents are going down instead of up — and have the ability to move, perhaps because of a remote working arrangement — here are 10 cities listed by Rent.com where average rents declined over the past year:

Toledo, Ohio

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -23.03%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -0.45%

Huntsville, Alabama

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -18.5%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -5.01%

Kansas City, Missouri

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -11.76%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -8.74%

Lincoln, Nebraska

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -11.54%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -18.43%

Indianapolis, Indiana

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -9.03%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -3.28%

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -7.71%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -22.47%

Atlanta, Georgia

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -6.99%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -2.42%
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Durham, North Carolina

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -3.30%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -12.81%

Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -1.77%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -3.23%

Tacoma, Washington

  • 1-BR rent price YoY change: -1.59%
  • 2-BR rent price YoY change: -2.43%

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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