Good news: Eye-popping apartment rents have barely budged in recent months

The cost to rent an apartment continues to rise — but not by as much as it did in the past.

The average rent for apartments in multifamily buildings only increased $1 between January and February to $1,364, according a new report from real-estate data company Yardi. On a year-over-year basis, rental prices were only 2.7% higher, making it the weakest seasonal gain since the housing market recovery began.

Read more: Why it makes more sense to rent than buy

Since last summer, rental prices have barely changed — hovering around the all-time high of $1,365 set in August, according to the Yardi analysis. But that could change in the months ahead as more people choose to continue renting thanks to the GOP-led tax reform that altered some deductions that benefited homeowners.

“Demand for apartments should get a marginal boost from the new tax law, which reduces some of the tax benefits of homeownership, especially in states with high single-family home prices,” Yardi wrote. “So it’s possible that rent growth will soon pick up as it normally does in the spring months.”

Also see: This city saw the biggest home-price growth in 2017 — and, no, it’s not on the West Coast

Across all cities nationwide, Orlando showcased the highest year-over-year uptick in rental prices, with rents climbing 7%. One major contributing factor, according to researchers, is the increase in population the city has seen due to people who were displaced by Hurricane Maria last year.

Sacramento experienced the second-highest uptick in rental prices from 2017 at 6.8%, representing the first time it didn’t hold the top spot since June 2016.

The California capital is nevertheless expected to see the highest level of rent growth nationwide throughout the rest of the year, Yardi said, thanks to its extremely limited supply of apartments and increased demand as people relocate from the San Francisco Bay Area.

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