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Last month, according to real estate marketplace Zillow, rent prices posted their biggest single-month drop in at least seven years.

Zillow’s Observed Rent Index showed that asking rents fell 0.4 percent from October to November, the largest decline in the index’s history. The index previously found that November is typically the slowest month for rent increases, but this time of year has not seen a decline of more than 0.1 percent since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The index showed rents fell 0.1 percent in October, and the firm said in its analysis that the November data “decisively” ended nearly two years of monthly rent growth at above-average rates.

The typical asking rent nationally is $2,008, up 8.4 percent from last year, Zillow reported. The company said rents fell after reaching a 17.1 percent year-on-year increase in February, as demand for apartments weakened due to higher inflation and rental costs.

“More people are doubling up with roommates or family, driving up the rental vacancy rate and thereby putting some pressure on landlords to rein in rent increases,” Zillow’s analysis said.

The index found that rents are falling the fastest in Raleigh, NC; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; San Jose, California and New York City. All of these cities saw at least a 1 percent drop in rents last month.

Rents were still rising in cities like Louisville, Ky. Memphis, Tenn. and Buffalo, New York, during the same period.

Zillow’s analysis notes that slower rates of growth are likely to show up in official measures of rental inflation next year.

Prices are falling as the Federal Reserve moves to try to control inflation, aiming to keep the inflation rate at 2 percent. The Fed raised interest rates this week by 0.5 percentage point to a range of 4.25 percent to 4.5 percent, smaller than its previous hike of 0.75 percentage points.

After four aggressive 0.75 basis point hikes, the Fed appears to be signaling that it will slow hikes as inflation begins to show signs of easing.

Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, fell to 7.1 percent in November from 7.7 percent in October, well below June’s peak of 9.1 percent, but still well short of the 2 percent target.

Some economists have expressed concern that the Fed’s moves could trigger an economic downturn, but the economy has shown resilience in recent months as employers have continued to add jobs and the unemployment rate remains low.

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