SARASOTA, Fla. (SNN TV) - It's something Manatee and Sarasota residents haven't heard in a while, but it's true.

"Rents are down 6% compared to where they were a year ago," said Rob Warnock, senior research associate for Apartment List, an online rental marketplace.

The 6% is partial relief considering years of increases. According to Apartment List, Bradenton and Sarasota residents have seen rent go up around 38% and 32%, respectively, since March 2020, the start of the pandemic which is considered the inflection point of the rental market.

Rents are still higher than before March 2020, but they've come down since 2022.

"There were parts of the country that saw huge influxes in new renters," Warnock explained. "Massive increases in rental demand led to shortages of vacant homes. For landlords renting out those vacant homes, they were suddenly in a position where they could raise their rents really quickly and find somebody that would be willing to pay that."

Since then, fewer people are moving.

"Home prices have gotten so expensive that it makes more sense to stay in the home you own even if it doesn’t match your needs," said Warnock. "Because competing in the for sale market today is too expensive."

With fewer people moving while more apartments are being built, there have been more vacancies, so rents have been decreasing on the Suncoast again. But there's a catch.

"This is for new tenants," explained Warnock. "When we say rents are down 6% years over year, on average the new tenant is going to be renting it for 6% less than the previous tenant."

But if you're one of those people staying where you are, you could still benefit from this.

"This is the kind of information that renters could take with them when negotiating a renewal of their lease," Warnock said. "Having information on what’s happening with new tenants can influence how landlords negotiate with existing tenants."