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Rent, occupancy rates in U.S. rise to record level in November, study shows

By Adam Schrader
Rent, occupancy rates in U.S. rise to record level in November, study shows
The national average for new move-in leases reached $1,631 in November -- up 0.4% from October, according to a report Monday by RealPage. File Photo by BryanUCLA/Pixabay

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Rent and occupancy rates for apartments in the United States rose to new heights in November, according to an analysis Monday, even as rental and housing markets enter the historically slow winter season.

Market research from RealPage, a company that provides property management software for rental properties, indicates that apartment occupancy reached 97.5% in November -- up significantly from the norm of around 95% over the past three decades.

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Meanwhile, the national average for new move-in leases reached $1,631 in November -- up 0.4% from October.

Similar figures were broken down in Apartment Guide's 2021 Rent Report, which found that the national average for one-bedroom apartments increased to $1,670 -- a 0.6% hike from October and a near 20% increase year-over-year.

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According to that study, all states saw increases in one-bedroom apartments compared to November 2020 with prices in two-bedroom apartments rising in all states except South Dakota.

The latest figures are tied to housing trends caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the initial outbreak, apartment dwellers became less willing to live with roommates and sought out their own apartments as investors and new homebuyers drove up prices for home purchasing.

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"While the pandemic saw a drastic decrease in rents, the trend quickly reversed as renters, both new and old, returned to cities," the Apartment Guide study says.

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The RealPage study notes that rents are especially up in Florida -- with rents in West Palm Beach rising as much as 28%. Rental prices in Tampa grew 26% and more than 20% each in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville.

Rent prices also significantly increased in Phoenix, Austin and Las Vegas, the study said.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said in August that surging prices for homeownership were "expected to propel rent increases" and indicated that rental costs will only continue to grow through 2023.

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