The rent's less damned high: rents falling in most of America's most expensive cities

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When rents in California drop by half I will be the first to buy a round, for everybody.


In Austin rent is going up as far as i know (i was looking to move in July but got a roommate instead). Would love it if rent dropped here but the market in the area is booming in a big way so i highly doubt it unless there’s a market crash or something


Waiting for the same here in Minneapolis, I’m lucky though since mine is still 840 when I know my neighbors are probably paying around 900-1200.


I live in Denver. My rent just went up 8% from last year. Sigh.


Yeah I was looking at work in Denver some years ago but the rent made go just nope the heck out of that metro. Mind you, I’m now in Minneapolis so I have to wonder if it would’ve been cheaper to live in the Denver area in 2019 dollars by comparison.


So move to Houston. Rents dropped here.
(Down 5.5% for 1 bedroom & down 15.2% for 2 bedroom.)

Los Angeles County, with a population of over 10 million, has been experiencing a net outflow of the labor force and employed people. Since the peak in November 2018, the county has lost 103,000 people in its labor force and 68,700 employed people, and California has begun to panic about losing businesses and people to other states.

I was talking about this with a friend who lives there full-time and just bought a place (rents may be falling, but housing prices are still ridiculous). He said that, compared to most other desirable and expensive alpha-tier urban areas in the global West, L.A. has very little job growth. One of the results has been that there’s less new construction of single-family detached and semi-detached homes and more renovation of existing (and still insanely pricey) ones.


Boston here. Notice the %0 from the peak? That’s why my family and I said f-it and bought a place north of the city.

Personally, I wouldn’t invest in any real estate except Pacific NW, Rockies, or NE. Given the way things are going, everything else in the next 30 years is going to be either:

  1. A tundra
  2. On fire
  3. Underwater

I hope I’m wrong.


Yeah but then i’d be in Houston. Lived there for about a year and i got bored :stuck_out_tongue: I still visit the area pretty often, parents live near the Woodlands area.


For those who wonder about the effect of rent control (and other sacred cows).

It was nice when I moved here in spring of 2012. Then, in November of that year, some legislation passed, and since then (correlation? causation? dunno), rent has gone crazy. Two separate apartment buildings I was renting in renovated and priced me out. And it looks like the one I’m currently in might switch to condos any time now. The sheer number of new housing developments, and the rate at which they continue to be built, is mind blowing. And it’s not just Denver metro. All the surrounding cities and towns are falling into the same pattern. I can’t afford to move right now, but I’m getting out as soon as I can. Maybe this housing bubble will burst and I can finally buy something.

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Also, this:

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That article is VASTLY oversimplified. About the only things it gets right are that Tarifs are Bad and the (counter-to-section-heading) that wealth taxes on the extremely wealthy are neutral to good and that cutting taxes when taxes are already low is bad.

Basically, economists agree about many of those things in general, but when you set the base assumption to 2019 United States, most would say, “Oh, no, not in that case. That’s fucked up!”


Which economists are in favor of rent control?

The ones who understand that, when the rent for a one-bedroom studio apartment within 3 hour commute of a major city goes for 5x the maximum possible salary of the people who actually keep that city running, it’s fucked up.

Essentially, economists make statements about “x is good; y is bad” based on models or measurements around some set of reasonable assumptions or conditions. Examples from the table in the original post offer conditions so far outside of reasonable that they aren’t covered by the models economists use to make recommendations.


I live in a suburb (of a suburb) of Portland, OR.

Last August my rent was raised by $95 a month. I just got my new lease offer and it has been raised by another $105 a month. That’s $200 each month more coming out of my pocket with no increase in benefits or amenities.

I don’t think the Portland market fits into this story very well.


Or Dallas. This is the first time in a long time where I’ve seen places offering free months of rent when signing leases. Three or four years ago you couldn’t even find a place, and now there are for lease sounds staying up for months at a time.


I don’t want to sound mean. I just have to note that here in the San Francisco Bay Area, rent for a one bedroom apartment, a small jr. one bedroom, has been north of a thousand for over twenty years. Today for such an apartment it is around $2000 unless it is a true dump.

Rents in many cities are way too high. That’s a problem statement that I agree with and many economists would as well. However, that doesn’t mean rent control is a good idea to address this issue. Again I wonder if you can find any economist who agrees that rent control is good policy. I suspect you can’t, because it’s not. Rent control like all price controls invariably results in scarcity and creates winners / losers (in the case of rent control, the winners being the current occupants of rent-controlled units, the losers being everyone else - which is why no economists support rent control). Here’s a pretty good overview of this issue in case you’re interested: and another article from Brookings that reaches the same conclusion (“Rent control appears to help affordability in the short run for current tenants, but in the long-run decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative externalities on the surrounding neighborhood. These results highlight that forcing landlords to provide insurance to tenants against rent increases can ultimately be counterproductive.”) -

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