Rents Fell for the First Time in Over a Year, but Renters Shouldn’t Celebrate Just Yet—Here’s Why

For the first time in nearly a year, the median rent in the top 50 metropolitan areas fell gradually, chipping $10 off the July peak high, Realtor.com reports. Rents were still up 9.8% year-over-year in August at a median $1,771 a month, though a single-digit monthly gain was the smallest increase recorded in 13 months.

Seasonal slowdowns may be at the core of a slight dip in rental costs, but experts warn renters not to get too excited about the prospect of improved affordability. Rents are still well above pre-pandemic levels, and despite seasonal changes, prices aren’t likely to fall significantly in the months ahead.

Miami, which became a pandemic hot spot, continues to lead in unaffordability. The median rent in that metro amounts to over 46% of the typical household income. On a statewide basis, Florida and California had six of the nine most unaffordable markets.

Rent affordability also continued to drop in Northeastern metros such as New York City and Boston, as renters have returned to the cities after an early pandemic exodus. The middle of the country continues to be the most affordable place to rent. Oklahoma City was the most affordable of the 50 largest metros in August with a median monthly rent of $973.

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