15 Cities With the Biggest Rent Decreases Since COVID-19 Hit

Renters sign lease for new apartment
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Construction Coverage.

Since the first major outbreak in March 2020, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to unfold. One emerging trend is a drop in rent prices in select major metropolitan areas, countering the long-term trend of sustained price increases in these locations.

Explanations for the recent decline include the rise of remote work and the ability of more affluent renters to relocate. This is especially prevalent among workers in America’s most expensive cities.

A recent UBS survey of wealthy investors shows that half of the participants intend to move closer to family, and 46 percent may leave cities in favor of less populated areas. Similarly, a recent Gallup poll found that two-thirds of existing remote workers would prefer to do so permanently.

As these trends play out, and more rental properties become vacant in high price markets, landlords will likely continue lowering prices to entice potential tenants.

To profile the cities with the biggest drops in rent prices since the outbreak of COVID-19, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed rental price data from the Zillow Observed Rent Index to calculate the percentage change in rent prices between March and September 2020. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau was utilized to profile income and employment statistics, with attention paid to employment in finance, information and technology.

Here are the 15 metropolitan areas that have recorded the biggest drop in rent prices since the COVID-19 outbreak.

15. Honolulu

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -0.1%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $2,086
  • Median rent in March 2020: $2,089
  • Median household income for renters: $64,573
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 11.4%

14. Houston

Houston, Texas skyline
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -0.5%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,523
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,531
  • Median household income for renters: $44,328
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 12.5%

13. Miami

Miami Beach Ocean Drive at dusk
Tono Balaguer / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -0.5%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,960
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,970
  • Median household income for renters: $44,612
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 14.3%

12. Minneapolis

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Roger Siljander / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -0.9%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,573
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,587
  • Median household income for renters: $46,718
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 17.3%

11. Denver

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -1.0%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,762
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,779
  • Median household income for renters: $57,548
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 20.6%

10. New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -1.4%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,467
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,488
  • Median household income for renters: $33,805
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 11.4%

9. Los Angeles

Los Angeles neighborhood.
Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -1.4%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $2,610
  • Median rent in March 2020: $2,646
  • Median household income for renters: $56,396
  • Employment in finance, information, and technology: 16.6%

8. Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
Page Light Studios / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -1.8%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,737
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,769
  • Median household income for renters: $44,814
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 16.7%

7. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -1.9%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,566
  • Median rent in March 2020: $1,596
  • Median household income for renters: $54,871
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 20.5%

6. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
orhan-cam / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -2.3%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $2,120
  • Median rent in March 2020: $2,171
  • Median household income for renters: $68,791
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 23.0%

5. Seattle

Seattle
Albert Pegp / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -2.9%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $1,961
  • Median rent in March 2020: $2,019
  • Median household income for renters: $62,421
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 19.1%

4. San Jose, California

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -5.3%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $3,103
  • Median rent in March 2020: $3,278
  • Median household income for renters: $96,072
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 24.8%

3. Boston

Downtown Boston, Massachusetts
Rsphotograph / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -5.5%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $2,359
  • Median rent in March 2020: $2,497
  • Median household income for renters: $56,498
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 21.2%

2. San Francisco

San Francisco street car
Tono Balaguer / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -6.2%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $3,117
  • Median rent in March 2020: $3,323
  • Median household income for renters: $84,041
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 26.1%

1. New York City

New York City coastline
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in rent since March: -7.2%
  • Median rent in September 2020: $2,624
  • Median rent in March 2020: $2,827
  • Median household income for renters: $55,272
  • Employment in finance, information and technology: 19.6%

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