Monthly apartment rents eased slightly in many South Florida cities in August as new units came on line, raising the chances that renters might be relieved of drastic price increases in the future, according to a national survey of 260 U.S. cities.
The slowdown in price increases in some local cities and the outright decline of prices in others is symptomatic of developers jumping into the game to build more apartment buildings, analysts say. In addition, some operators are actually competing for renters by offering amenities to lure them in.
From Miami to Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach, developers are now serving up a variety of options to consumers: one-bedrooms with shared common areas starting at $1,300 monthly; downtown and suburban complexes with fitness areas and other extras where two-bedroom apartments start at $1,800 to $2,000, and upscale three-bedroom units with Intracoastal views at $3,800.
“The breadth of choices is far wider than a few years ago, when a surge of apartment seekers chasing small numbers of available apartments triggered large price spikes a few years ago,” said Irina Lupa, an analyst with RentCafe, a national listing service that helps match renters with apartments in more than 250 U.S. cities. “More recently, however, apartment construction has picked up speed and rent growth has become more predictable. This means we are less likely to see any major spikes.”
“There is no reason to disagree.” Ken Johnson, real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University, said. “Developers are building more. The big driver of that is there is so many people moving in.”
But for South Florida, here are cities in the survey where average rental prices declined from July to August, except for West Palm Beach, which saw a spike. The survey does not specify the number of bedrooms in the apartments.
- Davie fell by $11 from July to $1,818.
- Fort Lauderdale saw its average decline by $2 to $1,984.
- Hollywood fell a dollar to $1,448.
- Miami shedded $2 to $1,713.
- West Palm Beach bolted to the upside, rising sharply by $24 to reach an average price of $1,477.
The national U.S. average in the survey reached $1,472 — a 3.3 percent increase — with Manhattan leading the way at $4,772. The city of Wichita, Kan., was ranked with the lowest average rental price in the survey at $565.