The national average for rent jumped 2.3 percent from April to May, a record month-over-month growth for the third consecutive month, according to Apartment List, an online rental marketplace.

The rate of rent increases has been outpacing the average rent growth for several months, and in May the national median rent officially surpassed the level that Apartment List economists would expect if the pandemic had not upended forecasting. Nationally, year-over-year rent growth was 5.4 percent from April 2020 to April 2021.

Rents in some markets are still below pre-pandemic levels, but they are rebounding quickly. Many midsized markets where rents increased because of high demand during the pandemic are continuing to see rents rise.

In D.C., rents increased 1.9 percent in May from April, below the national increase. Washington ranks 59th in month-over-month rent growth among the largest 100 cities in the United States.

However, year-over-year from March 2020 to May 2021, rents declined in D.C. by 7.8 percent, compared with a decline of 0.9 percent from April 2019 to April 2020. This year, D.C.’s annual rent decline ranks it the sixth fastest of the largest 100 cities. The median rent in Washington is $1,668 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,686 for a two-bedroom apartment.

In some housing markets that have attracted many new residents, rent growth has skyrocketed over the past year.

For example, in Boise, Idaho, which tops the list for rent growth, rents rose by 30.8 percent from March 2020 through May 2021 and by 6.6 percent from April 2021 to May 2021.

In the D.C. region, rents rose 20.1 percent from March 2020 to May 2021 in Fredericksburg, Va.; by 16.4 percent in Frederick, Md., and by 9.6 percent in Laurel, Md. But rents declined by 7.8 percent in D.C., year-over-year, by 10.5 percent in Chevy Chase, Md., and by 5.2 percent in Arlington, Va. Clearly, the flight to the suburbs meant increased rents in areas farther from D.C.

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