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10 Major Cities Where Rents Are Declining or Staying Flat

Jul 29, 2020 by Maurie Backman

Your goal in buying a rental property should be to not only secure a steady stream of tenants but to choose a housing market where you're likely to get a good return on investment. As such, it pays to focus on cities where there's lots of rental demand and where rental prices are trending upward. At the same time, you may want to avoid these 10 cities whose rents have either been going down or staying flat, according to recent data from Zumper.

1. San Francisco

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $3,280

It can be hard to come out well ahead as a landlord in the nation's most expensive city to rent in given the combination of expensive home prices and falling rent. Rental prices have declined 2.4% month over month and 11.8% year over year.

2. New York

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $2,890

The city that never sleeps is seeing some lows in rental prices these days. Rental prices have fallen 2% month over month and 1.7% year over year.

3. Boston

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $2,410

In another major city of renters, Boston landlords may have some challenges ahead. Rental prices have dropped 1.6% month over month and year over year.

4. San Jose

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $2,300

Silicon Valley's largest city isn't doing as well as it once was from a rental standpoint. Rental prices have declined 5% month over month and 8% year over year.

5. Los Angeles

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $2,150

Rental prices in LA have not declined to the same degree as they have in other California hotspots, like San Francisco and San Jose. Still, rents are down 0.9% month over month and 3.6% year over year.

6. Seattle

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $1,800

Seattle rent has held steady of late -- there's been no change on a month-to-month basis. However, rents in Seattle have declined 2.7% year over year.

7. San Diego

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $1,750

Like LA, the change in rental prices hasn't been as drastic in San Diego as it's been in the northern part of the state. Still, rent prices have declined 1.1% month over month and 0.6% year over year.

8. Anaheim

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $1,600

On a month-to-month basis, rents in Anaheim haven't taken too bad a hit, declining just 0.6%. What's more notable is that rents are down 5.9% year over year.

9. New Orleans

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $1,380

There's a clear draw to living in New Orleans, but renters may be less willing to pay a premium to do so. Rental prices have fallen 1.4% month over month and 3.5% year over year.

10. Dallas

Median rent for a one-bedroom: $1,230

In Dallas, rents are down 1.6% month over month and year over year. And a number of other well-known Texas cities are seeing year-over-year declines, too -- notably, Houston (9.1%), Fort Worth (4.3%), and Plano (2.6%).

Keep an eye on the market

Housing market conditions can change over time, so it's important to keep track of downward trends. Doing so could help you make a smart decision the next time you look to add an income property to your real estate portfolio.

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