Rents are softening nationwide — but here’s where they are falling the most

Published June 27, 2020 by MarketWatch | Written by Jacob Passy

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has made the high rents in some parts of the country untenable

With record numbers of Americans out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, rents are decreasing in many parts of the country.

Apartment List, an rental listing platform, reported Thursday that its national rent index fell by 0.1% between May and June. Moreover, the index has fallen 0.3% since March, when the number of COVID-19 cases began ramping up in the U.S.

Over the past year, rents are up only 0.2%, even those this is the time of year when rent appreciation heats up. “This is by far is by far the lowest year-over-year growth rate that we’ve observed in June over any of the past five years,” Chris Salviati, housing economist at Apartment List, wrote in the report.

“The fact that we’re seeing rents decrease at what is normally the peak season for rental activity is reflective of the financial hardship and shifting preferences being imposed by the pandemic,” Salviati said.

In some parts of the country, the decrease in rents is happening at a much faster pace. Two cities, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla., lead the country in terms of rent declines. Rents in both cities have fallen 2.2% since March.

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