2017-03-01 —

Real estate is local -- as demonstrated by this phenomenon of plunging rents in some markets and soaring rents in others. But the gap between a 15% annual jump in rent for a one-bedroom in New Orleans and the 11% plunge in New York [and 20%+ factoring in incentives] gets averaged away in the national numbers.

On a national level in February, the median asking rent for a one bedroom apartment declined 0.1% from January, but rose 2.1% year-over-year to $1,142, according to Zumper. The median two-bedroom rent declined 0.4% from January but rose 1.4% year-over-year to $1,353. These increases are down from the 3% to 5% range of increases common over the past few years.

So where will this go? In August last year, on my list of the top 12 markets, there were four cities with year-over-year declines in two-bedroom rents. Now there are nine. Given current trends, it is likely that Seattle and Southern California will see year-over-year rent declines later this year. It will turn the whole table red. And it will spread to other cities.

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