National annual effective rent growth increased to 2.3% in February to begin 2017 on a positive trend, according to market research firm Axiometrics.
February’s figure represented a 10-basis-point increase from January’s 2.2%, but was 181 bps lower than the 4.1% of February 2016. Average effective rent increased $8 to $1,285, the second straight month that the average has risen, Axiometrics reports.
Though the numbers are improving, it is still the lowest post-recession February number since 2010, the firm says.
Markets large and small impacted the increase, with 28 of the Axiometrics Top 120 metros, based on number of units and other factors, showing rent-growth increases of more than 50 bps from January. Some 13 of those markets are among the 50 most major metros.
The biggest gainer among the major markets was Hartford, which was in negative territory as recently as August 2016. The Connecticut capital’s February rent growth of 3.5% was 257 bps above January’s 1.0% and 569 bps above its recent low of -2.1% in July 2016.
Another recent East Coast surprise has been Nassau County-Suffolk County, which achieved a rent-growth increase of 89 bps to 4.3% in February and broke into the top 10 of major metros.
Meanwhile, Birmingham, San Jose and New York escaped negative rent-growth territory with increases of 144, 108 and 95 bps, respectively. San Francisco, though still negative, surged closer to even with a 113-bps rent growth rise.