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The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an overall drop in San Antonio’s rent prices, with the highest class of properties most severely affected.

From March to May 13, the average rent dropped $9, or 0.9%, to $969 in San Antonio, according to mid-May numbers from Houston-based ApartmentData.com.

The decreased rents can be attributed to renters largely avoiding moving during the pandemic. The research firm found that in May — historically a busy month for landlords — the market has seen negative absorption for the first time in years, meaning supply has outweighed demand.

ApartmentData.com President Bruce McClenny said San Antonio’s lighter load of new construction at about 5,000 to 7,000 units each year keeps the market stable compared to other Texas cities. This consistency has proved beneficial for the market’s rents though the pandemic as Dallas saw a $14 overall drop and Houston saw a $12 drop.

“San Antonio is more steady than any other market we look at,” said ApartmentData.com President Bruce McClenny. “You don’t have many highs, many lows, and it doesn’t have gyrations of other Texas markets that tend to overbuild.”

Luxury apartments account for 23% of the market with 55,297 units. This sector saw the largest impact since the end of March with rents down $14.

Rents in the Class C market dropped $5 from March to April, but May is beginning to show a slight bounce back. The lowest end of the market, or Class D, has seen the only rents to rise between March and May.

“I was expecting more stress there,” McClenny said. “One thing that happened was the unemployment net has probably come through for a lot of those people.”

Publication: San Antonio Business Journal

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