Since March, rents are down in 41 of the 100 largest cities in the US, according to the Apartment List National Rent Report.

In the same timeframe last year, only five cities experienced a decline in rent prices and, and only two experienced a drop of more than one percent. 

Rent growth has even been sluggish in cities where it was positive. Sixty-three of the 100 largest cities are currently posting slower year-over-year rent growth than at this time last year.

If you drill down into the 50 largest cities, the situation is about the same. Only 26 of these 50 cities have seen the median rent increase since March. Last year, 47 of those cities saw median rent increases. In some cities, the rent growth of 2019 has been completely wiped out by the pandemic.

If there is a silver lining, it’s that many local markets appear to have stabilized relatively quickly after the drop-off in moving activity caused by the pandemic, according to The Apartment List. 

More than half of the 100 largest cities have experienced positive rent growth since March. Forty-seven of these cities had positive month-over-month rent growth from September to October. That is far more than the 22 cities that had positive month-over-month growth in October of 2019. 

“This suggests that some parts of the country may now be experiencing the release of pent-up demand from renters who delayed moves earlier in the pandemic,” according to the report.

New York and San Francisco appear to be the hardest hit markets by the pandemic. New York rents have declined 2.8% over the past month, and have decreased sharply by 17% in comparison to the same time last year, according to the Apartment List. Many cities nationwide also saw decreases, including San Francisco (-23.4%), Boston (-15.9%), and Seattle (-12.2%). 

As renters look to leave high-cost metros, landlords in smaller cities are benefitting. The largest rent growth since the pandemic has been posted by Boise, ID (9.4%), Toledo, OH (8.4%), Chesapeake, VA (8.2%), Greensboro, NC (7.9%) and Reno, NV (6.6%).

In an earlier interview, William Spransy, CFO of North Carolina-based Eller Capital, told that the Carolinas are a big winner right now

“We are now starting to see data prove out that there’s a shift of the population job growth to our specific area,” Spransy says.” “So, we’re very excited about that.”