Property management signs advertise student housing for rent in a neighborhood adjacent to Temple University in North Philadelphia.

Some big-city markets are seeing huge declines in apartment rents thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking nationwide at one-bedroom units, monthly rents are still up about 1 percent from a year ago. But in some of the biggest U.S. apartment markets, there have been huge declines in monthly rental rates.

The biggest drops are in San Francisco, where the median rent on a one-bedroom apartment has fallen more than 27 percent during the last year.

In New York City, apartments are down almost 19 percent year-over-year in November.

There are double-digit percentage rent declines in Seattle, Chicago and the District of Columbia, too.

“The rent trends we are seeing in the market right now are a reflection very much of what’s going on and impacting the broader housing market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist with “Rents are falling in big cities and growing elsewhere — particularly in areas that have benefited from people coming in fleeing those large cities and seeking more affordable rent.”

Dallas-Fort Worth apartment rents are basically flat, when you don’t count incentives offered by landlords to lure renters. With the number of giveaways growing, renters can still find bargains in North Texas.

While apartment rents have fallen in many metro areas, rents for single-family homes are still rising.

“Rents are rising about 2.5 percent to 3 percent on a national basis over the last 12 months — much faster than inflation overall,” said Frank Nothaft, the top economist at CoreLogic. “Single-family rents are continuing to rise and perhaps that’s reflecting some of the shift from families who are renting moving from high-rise apartment buildings to low-density single-family homes.”

Nothaft said single-family homes appeal to renters looking for more room during the pandemic.

He said they move “to get more space, more living area so they can have that extra room for an office when they work from home or that extra room that can be used as a school room for children.”