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Metros Bucking Year-to-Date Rent-Growth Trend

Many are in Warm-Weather Areas

Friday, October 14, 2016

Year-to-date rent growth (YTD) usually declines in the later third of the year. The same is true for most metro-area markets. It’s a normal seasonal pattern that emerges, often due to weather and holiday travel.

But there are always exceptions to the rule. In this case, some markets experience increased or flat YTD rent growth as the year winds down. Four of the five markets studied here are in warmer-weather cities. 

South Florida metros attract a lot of snowbirds from the Northeast, and the YTD rent growth climbs with the population. In Miami, though 2016 YTD growth is below the post-recession average, the trend has been the same through September. 


Two counties north, West Palm Beach shows a similar line to Miami apartments. The highest YTD rent growth rates have been recorded in November or December most years during the recovery – but 2016 may be an anomaly.

West Palm Beach apartments recorded negative YTD rent growth during the first half of the year, and the rate declined from August to September for the first time since 2011. In that year, the number bottomed out in October before increasing in the final two months. 

Phoenix apartments don’t have the strict upward movement of the Florida markets, but it remains relatively stable – certainly not the downward trend of most markets.

YTD rent growth has increased in October the past two years and in November three of past four years. December’s rate increased in 2014, but that was the only time that happened in the post-recession era.


Elsewhere in Arizona, Tucson YTD rent growth usually dips in October, but rebounds in November and December, when it often records its highest rate of the year. 

And this year, YTD rent growth in Tucson is well outperforming the post-recession average, marking the second straight year of strong performance. 

Salt Lake City apartments, meanwhile, continue the upward trend through November in most years – though some years peak in October – before experiencing a sometimes steep December falloff. 

Last year, however, December YTD rent growth increased from November, and the 2016 trend line is sharply upward through September. Whether that will continue in the final three months of the year remains to be seen.

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