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You know that thing where your rent goes up every year but your salary doesn’t? Well, things are finally starting to turn around for renters, at least in a few cities. Because of an excess of new apartments, rents are dropping in some areas — and landlords are offering some pretty big freebies to attract new tenants.
In Seattle, for example, 40% of brand new apartment units are sitting empty, according to the Seattle Times. As a result, rental prices fell 0.9% in 2018. (In the previous three years, prices had increased by at least 5%.) There, some landlords are advertising perks like free months of rent, parking for a year, free Amazon Echo devices, credits for Uber and Lyft rides and even $2,500 Amazon gift cards.
Where Rents Are Dropping
Here are seven big cities where year-over-year monthly rental costs for an average 1-bedroom have dropped, according to Apartment List:
- Portland, Oregon: -2.2% ($1,128 for a 1-bedroom)
- Pittsburgh: -1.1% ($721 for a 1-bedroom)
- Baltimore: -0.9% ($938 for a 1-bedroom)
- Chicago: -0.9% ($1,067 for a 1-bedroom)
- Seattle: -0.9% ($1,318 for a 1-bedroom)
- Washington, DC: -0.2% ($1,311 for a 1-bedroom)
- St. Louis: -0.1% ($714 for a 1-bedroom)
On average, rents are still up 1.5% nationwide this year, but that’s down from a high of 3.6% in 2015. More good news: Rent increases this year finally fell behind wage growth (2.7%) and overall inflation (2.5%), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Maybe now it will get easier to spend less than 30% of income on rent.
Looking for more ways to lower your rent? Check out these tips.