Rentals across the U.S. may be easing and finally giving tenants a break
after several years of steady rent increases, according to a new report by Apartment List.
For the first time in eight years, rents declined modestly on a national level in the first quarter of 2019. The report shows that nation-wide rents have declined by 0.1 percent, the first time since 2011.
The report suggests that renters are beginning to benefit from the supply side of the housing equation as new apartments are coming onto the market at prices that are more affordable for tenants. As a result, rents may finally be easing for some of the nation's most expensive cities, including San Francisco and New York City.
While the nation-wide rental decline is certainly welcome news, the report also underscores the affordability crisis many renters are facing. Though rents are beginning to ease, median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is still beyond the reach for much of the population in many of the nation's major metro areas, and especially for lower-income renters. In San Francisco, the median rent for a one-bedroom unit is still over $3,400, which is nearly three times the national median rent of $1,190.
The report further suggests that rents may continue to decline in the short term as the nation's supply of new apartment buildings is expected to continue to increase. Still, despite the nation-wide rental trends, it is expected that certain local markets will continue to experience rent increases in the near future as wages remain static.