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Rents drops to lowest level in 12 months

Median rent in the United States rose 1.7 percent in February, to $1,937, according to data released recently.

That was the smallest year-over-year increase in asking rental rates in nearly two years, and the lowest median rent nationwide in 12 months, Seattle-based Redfin reported.

February was the ninth consecutive month in which rent growth slowed year-over-year.  Despite that, the median asking rent remained 21.4 percent higher than it was in February 2020, one month before the pandemic hit.

“Rent growth has cooled as persistently high housing costs, inflation, recession fears and a slowdown in household formation have made people less likely to move, putting a damper on demand for new leases,” the report states. “A jump in supply due to a boom in apartment construction has also contributed to the slowdown in rent growth.”

The number of apartments under construction in February was up nearly 25 percent from one year earlier – to 943,000 units – the highest number since 1974, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders cited by Redfin.

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