In April, apartment retention broke records as renters had to stay put due to the pandemic. Come May, apartment operators across the country began to drop rent.

Now, in the week ending June 20, executed rents – a real-time indicator that includes concessions and lease term lengths – for new leases rose 0.08% year over year, according to RealPage.

Although this number is small, it’s a sign of apartment demand rebounding after the last three months of rent declines. In the week ending June 20, total new lease volumes soared by 18.6% year over year.

Renewal pricing was positive in May before dropping back down in June. In the week ending June 20, executed renewal rents dropped 1.9% compared to the year prior. This could reflect on operators focusing on high occupancies, RealPage said.

However, executed rents dropped by double digits in Boston; New York; Los Angeles; San Jose, California and Oakland, California, but took a steep turn in Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Francisco, which means these markets are not benefitting from the rebound in new lease demand.

In the top 50 markets in the U.S., 30 saw positive growth in executed new lease rents during the same time period.

Bigger gains came from markets that are generally slower-paced, RealPage said – such as Virginia Beach, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis; Greensboro, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Tampa, Florida; Cleveland and Kansas City, Missouri.

Meanwhile, generally popular markets recorded flat to modest gains in new lease pricing – Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Phoenix; Houston; Denver and Las Vegas.

New lease pricing fell 3% to 5% in key markets – Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; San Antonio; Philadelphia; Miami; Orlando, Florida and Austin, Texas.

While new lease pricing shows signs of recovery, renewal lease pricing remains volatile, RealPage said.



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