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April’s increase in pricing power proved to be nearly universal across markets, as 145 of the 150 metros tracked in RealPage’s core data set logged at least a little rent growth for the month. Four metros registered no change in rents, leaving just one market – Davenport, Iowa – with a minor cut in pricing.

Among major markets with at least 100,000 units, Phoenix led the way for rent growth during the month of April. Effective asking rents there climbed 2.6%.

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Monthly increases also proved very strong at 2% or better across another seven of the country’s large metros: Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Raleigh/Durham, and Jacksonville. Denver and Atlanta posted monthly rent growth of 1.9%.

The average monthly rent for the U.S. as a whole now stands at $1,453.

Annual Rent Growth Is Solid in Much of the Country

The country’s typical rent now is 1.7% above year-ago rates. Thus, cuts suffered during the early days of the pandemic have been completely reversed in all but a handful of locations.

Annual rent growth now reaches 3% or more, which was the performance seen prior to the pandemic, in 110 of the 150 largest metros.

Year-over-year price increases are at 5% or better in an impressive 19 of the major markets.

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Riverside/San Bernardino is in the top spot for annual rent growth, with pricing up 13.5%. Year-over-year rent growth also is in double digits across Phoenix, Sacramento, and Las Vegas, all registering price jumps of roughly 10% to 11%.

Rents are up about 9% annually in Tampa and Memphis, while increases of roughly 7% to 8% have occurred in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Salt Lake City, and Virginia Beach.

At the other end of the performance spectrum, April’s monthly rent bump still leaves prices way under the year-earlier rates in some of the country’s key gateway metros.

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Rents are still down 18.3% year-over-year in San Francisco, while the annual price cut is near 14% in San Jose and New York. Seattle’s annual loss is 6%, and the year-over-year declines are at 4% to 5% in Oakland, Boston, and Washington, DC. April’s effective rents for new leases dip about 3% below year-earlier rates in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Occupancy Remains in Great Shape

U.S. apartment occupancy has been hovering between 95% and 96% since late 2019. The April figure of 95.8% is up slightly on both a monthly basis (95.5% in March) and an annual basis (95.4% in April 2020).