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Arlington apartment-rental costs dip as cooler market sets in

Price easing is typical this time of year, analysts say

Median monthly apartment-rental rates in Arlington dipped month-over-month in new data, as the cooler winter rental market settles in regionally and nationally.

The median rental rate of $2,250 was down 1.1 percent from October to November, a slightly larger dropoff than the national dip of 0.9 percent (to $1,340). That’s according to figures reported by Apartment List on Nov. 29.

Median rates in Arlington were $2,129 monthly for a one-bedroom unit, $2,539 for two bedrooms. Nationally, rates were $1,149 for one bedroom, $1,317 for two.

Year-over-year, however, Arlington is in positive territory, with median rents up 3.9 percent. That compares to a statewide increase of 2.5 percent; nationally, the median rental rate declined 1.1 percent year-over-year.

Since the onset of the pandemic, median rents in the county are up more than 11 percent. But it has been a roller-coaster ride, with median rents dropping 13 percent in 2020, then rebounding with gains of 16.3 percent in 2021 and 4.3 percent in 2022.

Arlington’s drop in month-over-month median rents in November was the 33rd largest among the 100 major U.S. urban areas tracked by Apartment List.

“The rental market is squarely in the winter slow season,” Apartment List analysts said in parsing the regional and national scene. “As moving activity slows during the holidays, this is the time of year where renters find the best deals on apartments.”

The community of Santa Clarita, Calif., led the nation in month-over-month rent appreciation, clocking in at 0.8 percent among the 100 largest urban areas. On the other side of the coin, Seattle had the biggest month-over-month drop, at 2.3 percent.

Across the Washington region in its entirety, the median apartment rent of $1,973 was up 2.4 percent from a year before.  The national median rent of $1,340 was down 0.9 percent month-over-month and off 1.1 percent year-over-year.

“This year, the slow season started a month earlier than usual, with a slight 0.1-percent rent drop in August,” Apartment List analysts said. “Monthly declines have gotten progressively steeper in the months since, with rents falling by 0.6 percent in September, 0.8 percent in October and now 0.9 percent in November.”

Among the 100 largest urban areas, median rents for the month ranged from $770 in Cleveland to $3,143 in Irvine, Calif.

Year-over-year rent growth fell to zero in June for the first time since the early stages of the pandemic, and has been in negative territory for five consecutive months. Seasonal trends suggest that monthly rents will continue to dip through the remainder of the calendar year.

After bottoming out in October 2021, Apartment List’s national vacancy index has been easing steadily for two full years. Today the rate stands at 6.4 percent, representing a return to pre-pandemic levels.

This means that renters should have more available options than they have in some time, analysts said, especially in the Sun Belt markets where construction activity has been strongest.

Where are things headed, nationally, as 2023 sashays into 2024? “If historical seasonal patterns hold, rent growth should heat up once again in early 2024, but a strong supply of new units coming online next year should moderate prices a bit,” Apartment List analysts said.

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For the full national report, see the Website at For information on areas across Northern Virginia, see the Website at