Rent prices for tenants in big cities across the country dropped through the pandemic, but last month the Apartment List National Rent Report recorded a 1.1 percent increase in their national rent index, the largest one-month increase recorded since 2017.
Some big cities like Seattle and New York recorded a nearly 20 percent increase in rent prices from the same time last year, and cities like San Francisco recorded a nearly 25 percent year-to-year change.
In January, housing economist, Chris Salviati, said the drastic decrease of rent prices in big cities was likely due to a few factors.
Firstly, the proliferation of remote working allowed people to not have to consider their daily commute to work and allowed people to move out of town because proximity to their occupation was no longer a priority.
“By severing the link between job choice and housing choice, remote work could have a profound impact on where Americans choose to live,” Salviati wrote in his March report about the rise of remote work and the “untethered class,”.
Salviati’s report found that approximately 39 percent of jobs in the Seattle metropolitan area are “remote friendly,”. That ratio is 10 percent higher than the national average.
The other factor Salviati pointed out was the idea that people are willing to pay more to live in a big city because of the venues, restaurants and amenities it provides.
However, pandemic restrictions and social distancing closed down many of these amenities. Making the “big-city premium,” on rent, not worth the cost.
Now businesses and venues reopen across the state and restrictive safety burdens are being relaxed as part of Governor Jay Inslee’s plan for the state’s recovery.
The rent report recorded Seattle as having a 2.2 percent increase in rent over the past month, potentially indicating a rent market rebound trend.