Ground Up

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Baltimore area apartment rent growth slow

Apartments in the two buildings in Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District are fully leased, but commercial space will need renovation. (Maximilian Franz / The Daily Record)

Apartments in the two buildings in Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District. (Maximilian Franz / The Daily Record)

A pair of recent reports found rents for Baltimore area apartments increasingly only slightly.

A report from RealPage, a real estate technology and analytics firm, places the metro area in its “laggards” column because of relatively flat year-over-year rent growth. The Baltimore metro area posted an annual rent change of 1 percent. As of mid-year the Real Page found the national average rent growth reached 2.3 percent.

“If you miss the window to drive rents during the second quarter, it’s tough to counter that shortfall later in the year,” Greg Willett, RealPage’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Even though demand generally holds up through late summer, by August or September there’s a tendency to position rents more conservatively in order to fill as many units as possible before the seasonal slowdown in leasing begins.”

Baltimore joins metro areas, such as Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Washington on the list of metro areas with slow rent growth. The leaders in terms of rent change, according to RealPage, are Orlando, Las Vegas and Jacksonville.

The firm attributes slow rent growth to a glut of luxury units on the market in many major metro areas. Concessions, such as month of free rent, are now common in many of the trendiest neighborhoods in these areas.

Online marketplace Apartment List found that rents in Baltimore increased by .8 percent from last month, but were .6 percent lower year-over-year in the second quarter.

The media rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,200 a month, which is above the national average of $1,180. Rents have been decreased in the city over the last year, according to Apartment List, but have increased in seven of the 10 areas surrounding Baltimore.

Apartment List found that rents in Annapolis had the fastest growth increasing 4.8 percent from the same time last year. Meanwhile rents in Towson dropped the most declining 4.2 percent. Essex had the least expensive apartments in the metro area with a median rent of $1,100 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

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