As residents fled large cities to find a better quality of life, rents and home prices in some of America’s largest cities, particularly on the East and West Coasts, fell. For years, the most expensive places to live were in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. However, people moved to their suburbs and inland cities.
The cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was the most expensive in the nation before the COVID-19 pandemic. That changed swiftly, and according to research firm Zumper in June the figure fell 15% from the same month last year to a median of $2,790. In June itself, rents moved up by a modest 5% compared to May. Anthemos Georgiades, CEO and Co-Founder of Zumper, commented: “After a year of stagnant growth in rental prices, something we historically have not seen as national rental prices have steadily increased over time, we are now seeing rents rise sharply, which indicates that life is returning to pre-pandemic trends.”
New York City’s rent profile looks similar to San Francisco’s. In June, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,570, the second-highest in the nation. That was a drop of over 11% year over year. However, from May to June, the figure was up 2%.
Boston had the third-highest rent for a one-bedroom at $2,200. Next, the rent in Washington was $2,170, followed by San Jose, California, at $2,160, Los Angeles at $2,000, Oakland, California, at $2,000, and San Diego at $1,920. This is more evidence of the high cost to rent in America’s large coastal cities.
Will the trend continue? Based on the drop in rent in most of these cities, the answer may depend on the pandemic. Additionally, people who can work from home in smaller cities with perceived better quality of life may not return.