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By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter

DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – According to a new report from Apartment List, rents in Delray Beach decreased by 0.2 percent month-over-month, and are down 3.1 percent since the start of the pandemic in March. Year-over-year rent growth in Delray Beach currently stands at 0.2 percent, the lowest rate in July of any year since 2016.

Rent, Apartments, Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida
Delray Beach’s year-over-year rent growth is now level with both the state and national average which all stands at 0.2 percent, image by Apartment List.

This is the fifth straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in February. However Delray Beach’s year-over-year rent growth is now level with both the state and national average which all stands at 0.2 percent.

Jeremy Olsher of Compass Delray Beach real estate firm shared, “I feel the reduction in rental prices is due to the type of properties that people are looking to rent, which is in direct correlation to the pandemic (less so economic fallout as the activity level for purchases in South Florida is extremely high).”

He explains, “condominium rental prices are going down at a much higher rate than single family homes. There is a lack of inventory for single family (pool or no pool) rental properties, and the condominium rental inventory is growing by the day.”

“We are also in the dead of summer, hurricane season, and with the uncertainly of schools opening, many people are staying put in their homes (less moving around),” Olsher admits. “Typically this time of year, prior to the school year starting, there is more activity.”

Rent, Apartments, Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida
Rents in Delray Beach decreased by 0.2 percent month-over-month, and are down 3.1 percent since the start of the pandemic in March, photo by CODA Townhomes in Downtown Delray Beach.

The demand for rental properties has certainly gone down on an annual basis according to Olsher. Many were looking for off-seasonal rentals when the pandemic started. Right now, he sees a decent amount of seasonal inventory on the market, more so than in previous years.

He said, “With the uncertainly of COVID-19 and its future, many put their seasonal plans on hold for 2021 Season in Florida (Jan, Feb, March 2021). The national news has stated that South Florida is a hot spot for COVID-19 cases, and I’m sure that has many people changing their plans who are typically renting year after year in South Florida in season.”

According to Apartment List, median rents in Delray Beach currently stand at $1,185 for a 1-bedroom apartment and $1,503 for a two-bedroom. Olsher, who knows the market in Delray Beach well, felt the numbers are higher for those wanting to live around downtown.

When asked he said, “One bedrooms in downtown Delray Beach have always been in demand, but today, most people are priced out as it’s hard to find a decent one bedroom rental for less than $1,800 a month – walk to the ave, or walk to the beach.”

“In 2011, you could rent a one bedroom at the Astor for $1,550 a month,” he said. “They went as high as $2,200 a month, and are now back down to $1,900 a month on average for a one bedroom in good condition.”

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