Mar 25, 2021 - News

It's finally a renter's market in the Twin Cities

Reproduced from; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from; Chart: Axios Visuals

The cost to rent an apartment in the Twin Cities has declined for the first time in years.

  • The median rent for a studio at the end of 2020 decreased by 6%; one-bedroom rents were flat and two-bedroom rents were down 4% compared to 2019, according to end-of-the-year data from HousingLink.

Why it matters: If you're a renter, you've been living in a landlord's market for years. The vacancy rate for apartments in the Twin Cities has been so low that landlords have been raising rates, on average, to the tune of 5% or more each year.

State of play: The most renter friendly submarkets right now are the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which have a glut of new apartments thanks to several years of strong development.

  • The pandemic has taken away some of the main reasons to live downtown. Add in civil unrest and rising crime and vacancy has reached 8.4% in downtown Minneapolis and 11.2% in downtown St. Paul, per the Star Tribune.

There are good deals to be had in both cities, with offers of free rent, free parking and cash. Here are a couple:

  • The soon-to-open 240 Park Avenue apartments — developed by the owners of the Vikings — is advertising two free months for the building, which is near U.S. Bank Stadium.
  • So, too, is the new Cordelle complex next to St. Paul's Harriet Island.

Yes, but: You will notice the sweetest deals are for luxury apartments with high rents. Rents have actually increased in lower-income areas, according to a recent Zillow report.

Outlook: That same Zillow report notes that across the U.S. rents have are on the upswing again, with increases of around 0.5% the past couple months.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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