By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — May is typically considered the busiest rental month of the year, until the pandemic hit.

Twin Cities landlords say judging by the last few weeks business is bouncing back.

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But, just like the saying goes, it all comes down to location.

Foot traffic from prospective renters all but stopped for months last year across the Twin Cities.

A certified property manager with 30 years in real estate, Kathy Harmon believes a fear factor from COVID and crime will still take some time to play out to fairly predict the future.

“One of my owners said to me, ‘I couldn’t give away an Uptown unit last year,'” Harmon said.

YardiMatrix is constantly collecting information on the rental market.

“Where the increase has been occurring is really more in the suburban areas,” Doug Ressler said.

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Ressler’s data points to a drop in rental rates of more than 7% in the last year in northeast Minneapolis, while the Minnetonka market went up by more than 8.5%.

Overall, he says downtown locations have dropped an average of 2-3% while some suburbs continue to climb.

Our experts believes with commutes no longer a part of the equation for some people post-COVID, suburban living may offer even more appeal.

“When baby boomers were in charge I wanted to make sure that you worked 12 hours a day, and then the Millennials got to be in charge and they said, ‘Hey, get the work done. I don’t care if you’re here or not,'” Harmon said.

Also, pointing to more spacious rentals for added work space another selling point. Along with luxury units in the outer suburbs all going fast.

Ressler told us they are seeing a bit of a slowdown in apartment rental construction.

Developers have started to pull back due to the rising costs of materials.

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It can take up to three years for a large apartment to be built and there is still some uncertainty with prices moving forward.

Liz Collin