Apartment rents in Arlington keep on moving upward, maintaining their position as most expensive in the D.C. area and are now well above pre-pandemic rates, according to new data.

With a median rental of $2,063 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,469 for two bedrooms, Arlington’s rental rate grew a whopping 2.8 percent from May to June, the sixth highest increase among the nation’s 100 largest urban areas.

(The national median rental rate for two-bedroom units during the month was $1,339.)

Figures were reported June 28 by Apartment List. The national month-over-month increase was 1.3 percent.

For the year ending in June, Arlington’s rate of increase was 12 percent, ranking the county 61st nationally in appreciation rate. Arlington’s rent, which like many urban areas took a hit in the early days of COVID, is now running 7.2 percent above pre-pandemic levels, according to the data.

The upward trajectory from May to June is no surprise. Rents in 97 of the 100 areas surveyed were higher month-over-month, although in 73 of them the rate of growth was slower than a year before.

“So far this year, rents are growing more slowly than they did in 2021, but faster than they did in the years immediately preceding the pandemic,” Apartment List analysts noted.

Among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas – 52 of them with a million or more residents – the largest rate of rental growth since the pandemic’s arrival in March 2020 was in Tampa, where median rents have shot up 42 percent. Only San Francisco remains below its pre-pandemic rental rate, but is only a few percentage points away from catching up.

And proving that the Big Apple is sometimes down but never out, New York City’s median rental rate is up 27 percent over the past year. Even factoring in the huge-drop in rates as people fled the city in the early months of COVID, apartments are now going for 17 percent more than they were pre-pandemic, based on Apartment List’s data.

In the Washington area, Arlington’s median rental rate is highest, while its month-over-month rental increase also exceeded other areas. Among a number of similar communities in the region:

• The median apartment-rental rate in Alexandria is $1,800 for a one-bedroom unit, $2,150 for two bedrooms, representing an increase of 1.4 percent month-over-month and 12.5 percent year-over-year.

• The rental rate in Silver Spring is $1,730/$1,960, up 1.1 percent month-over-month and 10 percent year-over-year.

• The rental rate in Rockville is $1,880/$2,300, up 0.9 percent month-over-month and 14 percent year-over year.

• The rental rate in Bethesda is $1,900/$2,300, up 0.4 percent month-over-month and 8.5 percent year-over-year.

Rents increased to varying degrees in other Virginia localities from a year before, including 10.3 percent in Norfolk and 6.6 percent in Virginia Beach. For the commonwealth as a whole, the yearly growth rate has been 12 percent.

On the supply side, Apartment List’s national vacancy index ticked up slightly again in the new data, continuing a streak of gradual easing dating back to last fall.

“Our vacancy index now stands at 5 percent, up from a low of 4.1 percent, but remains well below the pre-pandemic norm,” analysts said. “And with spiking mortgage rates sidelining potential homebuyers, we could see additional tightness in the rental market in the months ahead.”

For data on the Arlington and regional market, see the Website at https://www.apartmentlist.com/va/arlington#rent-report. For national data, see the Website at https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/national-rent-data.

[https://sungazette.news provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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