Rents rose nationwide from January through June 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to a new report from Apartment Guide.

The site’s 2020 Mid-Year Rent Report found that average studio rents rose the most, 5.8 percent, to $1,691 per month in 2020 from $1,605 in 2019. Average rents for two-bedroom apartments rose 3.5 percent, to $1,878 in 2020 from $1,815 in 2019. One-bedroom apartments saw a 1.6 percent increase, to $1,621 in 2020 from $1,596 in 2019 — which means that, nationally, studios are more expensive than one-bedroom apartments.

When looking at rents on a monthly basis, Apartment Guide found that average rent prices actually fell each month from January to March, before rising in April (2.4 percent), May (1.8 percent) and June (1.3 percent) — the months when the pandemic was in full force, but also when people are more likely to move.

“[A]s a whole, national average rent prices have not yet been largely impacted by current events and instead have followed more traditional seasonal patterns,” the report said.

Apartment Guide did look at some cities that the media and health officials have labeled coronavirus “hotspots”: Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Detroit, Miami, Houston and Phoenix. The site found that rents had fallen from April to June in Los Angeles (down 5.4 percent), Miami (down 4 percent), Seattle (down 2.3 percent) and Houston (down 1.7 percent). These cities also saw year-over-year rent price decreases in the second quarter compared to second-quarter 2019, the report said.

From April to June, rents rose in New Orleans (up 4.8 percent), New York (up 5.5 percent) and Phoenix (up 7.3 percent). “Detroit had insufficient inventory to draw a meaningful conclusion,” the report said.

Apartment Guide advised would-be renters to be thoughtful about their search for a new home during the pandemic.

“Remember that despite the roll-out of virtual apartment tours and new guidelines governing how renters share space, you are still in control of your experience with renting and living in an apartment home,” the report said.

“Think about not only where you want to live, but how you want to live — including how you want to manage your finances right now. Advocate for yourself to ensure that you land in a situation that meets your current needs, and remember to give yourself the time and space needed for decision-making in an unusual period of time.”

To see the full report, including average rents by unit size for the 100 most populated cities, click here.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.
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coronavirus | rentals
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