Apartment renters have remained loyal to central business districts despite COVID-19, with "little evidence" showing permanent moves away from urban areas, according to a new analysis from Moody's Analytics REIS.

When the pandemic dawned, many CBD residents looked toward less dense submarkets or smaller cities with more affordable housing. Inventory growth in CBD apartment markets shrank as demand waned, and the effective rent gap between CBD and non-CBD markets narrowed. 

But as vaccines became more widely available and more people returned to the office, CBDs began a slow process of recovering, according to Moody's – and CBD apartment demand is now picking up steam.

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