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Southern Cities Experience a Rental Boom as COVID Redraws the US Rental Map

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One year on from COVID, we've looked at how the first year of the pandemic changed average room rents in key US metro areas. A clear trend has emerged, with southern cities experiencing the biggest growth in rents and demand.

Here's the story a year on from COVID.

These metro areas saw the biggest increase in demand vs supply:

  1. Las Vegas +102%
  2. Tampa +89%
  3. Riverside +85%
  4. San Diego +85%
  5. Miami +82%
  6. San Antonio +72%
  7. Austin +68%
  8. Baltimore +51%
  9. Houston +44%
  10. Atlanta +41%

Meanwhile, these metro areas saw the biggest drop in demand vs supply:

  1. Seattle -26%
  2. Washington DC -20%
  3. San Francisco/Bay Area -14%
  4. Boston -4%
  5. Chicago - 1%

Here's where we saw room rents rise the most:

  1. Riverside +14%
  2. Orlando +10%
  3. Phoenix +10%
  4. San Diego +8%
  5. Atlanta +7%
  6. San Antonio +6%
  7. Las Vegas +4%
  8. Sacramento +3%
  9. Tampa +2%
  10. Portland +2%

...and here's where they fell:

  1. New York -14%
  2. Boston -12%
  3. San Francisco -11%
  4. Washington DC -8%
  5. Seattle -7%
  6. Chicago -6%
  7. Baltimore -4
  8. Philadelphia -3%
  9. LA -3%
  10. Austin -3%

The 10 most expensive US metro areas to rent a room in are:

  1. San Francisco Bay Area $1,192
  2. New York $1,133
  3. Los Angeles $1,132
  4. Boston $1,039
  5. San Diego $1,037
  6. Washington D.C. $995
  7. Miami $917
  8. Seattle $855
  9. Denver $816
  10. Riverside $813

The 10 cheapest for roommates are:

  1. San Antonio $626
  2. Virginia Beach $634
  3. Las Vegas $682
  4. Dallas $712
  5. Austin $724
  6. Houston $728
  7. Phoenix $730
  8. Baltimore $730
  9. Philadelphia $737
  10. Orlando $741

NYC was hardest hit, with average rents down in every borough, with Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens all seeing double digit rent drops.

Bronx -3%
Brooklyn -11%
Manhattan -15%
Queens -10%
NYC Metro -14%

Whether this is all simply down to the pull of warmer weather, especially over the colder months, with COVID forcing us all to socialize outdoors, or whether New York is losing its appeal remains to be seen. As remote working becomes the new norm and people seek out more space and cheaper rents we may see further changes, or we could see cities boom again once the hospitality, tourism and entertainment sectors can fully reopen.

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