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Apartment-rental rates ease slightly in Tysons

Market cooling is typical this time of year

November apartment-seekers in Tysons ended up paying a little less than those on the hunt a month before, but more than those who were seeking leases a year ago.

The median one-bedroom rent of $2,024 and median two-bedroom rent of $2,420 added up to a decrease of 1.1 percent month-over-month but an increase of 0.7 percent year-over-year in Tysons, according to figures reported Nov. 28 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.”

There were some outliers. 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 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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