Oct 6, 2022 - News

Rent prices fell slightly last month

Illustration of apartment doorbells with an intercom shaped like a dollar sign.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Triangle rents eased last month, a sign that the intense rent increases of the past two years could be slowing.

  • In Raleigh, where a median two-bedroom apartment is currently $1,525 a month, rents fell by 0.4%, according to ApartmentList.
  • Durham saw a 2% decrease. The median two-bedroom apartment there is now $1,458 a month.

Driving the news: Year-over-year rents are still up around 8% in either city, but that's a steep drop from more than 20% growth in rent between 2020 and 2021.

  • Durham and Raleigh’s rents are both now growing slower than the state as a whole, with cities like Greensboro, Fayetteville and Wilmington all experiencing faster rent growth this year.

Why it matters: Housing costs, including rent prices, are a major driver of inflation, Axios' Emily Peck recently reported.

  • Rising housing costs can push our most vulnerable residents into precarious living situations.
  • Homelessness in Wake County, for instance, has sharply risen in the past year.

What they're saying: Rob Warnock, a senior research associate for ApartmentList, told Axios that seasonality has returned to the Raleigh rental market. (Traditionally, rents decline during the winter and fall, when fewer people move. But the pandemic changed that.)

  • "The rush on apartments has definitely slowed down, but not because there is no longer demand for better/larger houses per se," Warnock said. "Rather, I think people are taking the 'wait-and-see' approach with the housing market right now. In other words, fewer people moving and less market activity in general, which tends to push prices down rather than up."

Yes, but: A return to prepandemic rent levels is not likely any time soon, even as the supply of apartments has improved.

  • "Without a significant expansion of supply it's unlikely that the dramatic rent increases from 2021 will be undone," he said.

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