Rents rebounded in nearly all of the 100 largest US cities during 2021.

Rents Ricocheted from Pandemic Drops in 2020 to “Sort of” Normal Rents by End of 2021

Workers and students alike fled large cities in March 2020 when COVID hit.  Rents plummeted to levels not seen in a decade or more.

A year later, renters began returning back into those cities.  Landllrds welcomed them by offering rent “discounts ” of 30%-40% plus concessions such as free parking and/or a month or two of free rent just to sign a lease.


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Now, those same early rebounders to large cities are seeing no concessions and rent increase of 30%, 40% and more when signing new lease.

Most Large US Cities Seeing Rents Back Up

A recent report put out by the online rental platform Zumper indicates that median rents for one- and two-bedroom units in major cities nationwide have rebounded by approaching, equaling and, in some cases, exceeding pre-pandemic rent levels.  Nationally, median rent for a one-bedroom unit jumped +12% to a new high of $1,374 in January.  In 59 of 100 cities studied by Zumper, median rents high-jumped by +20% or more by January 2022.

San Francisco was the outlier.  Hit very hard by the pandemic, San Francisco’s median rent plummeted by -23% in January 2021…by January 2022, median rent in San Francisco had risen by only +6%.  Why?  Many of the City’s tech workers embrace remote work which kept down both demand for apartments and rents for those apartments down.

Cities with Highest Rents as of 1/2022, according to Zumper

City                    Median 1-Bedroom Rent                  1-Year Change

New York                   $3,260                                        +25%

San Francisco           $2,850                                           +6%

Boston                       $2,720                                         +27%

San Jose CA               $2,390                                         +12%

Miami                        $2,340                                          +26%

Washington DC        $2,250                                             +15%

Los Angeles               $2,220                                           +14%

Oakland CA               $2,100                                             +5%

San Diego                  $2,070                                            +15%

Scottsdale AZ           $1,940                                              +27%

Fort Lauderdale       $1,940                                               +15%

Santa Ana CA            $1,940                                             +14%

Seattle                       $1,820                                            +17%

Anaheim CA              $1,790                                              +8%

Atlanta                       $1,700                                            +15%

Greatest One Year Change


City                    Median 1-Bedroom Rent                  1-Year Change

Fresno CA                  $1,410                                        +28%

Scottsdale AZ           $1,940                                          +28%

Orlando FL                $1,620                                         +28%

Knoxville TN              $1,070                                         +27%

Boston                       $2,720                                         +27%

Glendale AZ              $1,200                                          +27%

Tampa FL                   $1,590                                         +26%

Austin TX                   $1,550                                         +26%

Miami                        $2,340                                          +26%

New York                   $3,260                                          +25%

Anchorage                $1,140                                           +25%

Tulsa OK                    $800                                            +25%

Mesa AZ                    $1,270                                         +25%

Boise ID                     $1,430                                         +24%

St. Petersburg FL     $1,500                                             +24%

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Thanks to Zumper and The New York Times.


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