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Rents for US homes drop for the first time since 2012: Zillow

Boston

RENTERS in the United States finally have reason to rejoice: their housing costs dropped last month for the first time in six years. The median rent for apartments, single-family homes and other residences across the US was US$1,440 in September, down 0.2 per cent from a year earlier and the first year-over-year decline since July 2012, according to listings website Zillow.

Rents have jumped 14 per cent since September 2011, or about 2.3 per cent a year. While the job market - a key driver for the rents - remains strong, developers may have gotten ahead of themselves, crowding cities with amenity-rich apartment buildings constructed in response to gains that are now disappearing.

Now, tenants, especially those in the market for a luxury apartment, are starting to get the upper hand. "Rents remain high by historic standards, but September's modest annual decline in rents should ease some of the pressure pushing higher-income renters to buy," Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas said in a statement. BLOOMBERG

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