After Brief Slowdown, Rents Inch Back Up

Just when the signs were pointing to a slowing rental market, landlords are finding that demand is warranting higher prices. Rents are posting the highest annual growth rates since the end of 2016, according to a new analysis of 250 of the largest U.S. cities by RentCafe, a nationwide listing service for the apartment sector. Rents are up 3.2 percent year over year, and the national average rent was $1,377 in April.

Rental costs rose in 84 percent of the nation’s 250 largest cities in April, and dropped in only 2 percent of cities compared to a year ago.

The 20 fastest growing rents are in small cities. Five cities posted double-digit annual growth in April for rental prices: Odessa, Texas (35.6%); Midland, Texas (32.6%); Yonkers, N.Y. (11.5%); Reno, Nev. (10.8%); and Hollywood, Fla. (10.6%).

On the other end, the cities seeing the slowest year-over-year rent changes in April were: Norman, Okla. (-2.5%); Lubbock, Texas (-2.5%); New Orleans (-2.2%); Brownsville, Texas (-1.7%); and Hillsboro, Ore. (-1.6%). Some bigger cities are seeing rents decline or stagnate, such as in New York; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; and Austin, Texas.

“Housing supply, rent stabilization, and affordable rents are of critical interest nationwide,” says Doug Ressler, director of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix. “Continued rent activity is expected specifically in 22 states and the District of Columbia, which have built too little housing to keep up with economic growth in the 15 years since 2000, and have resulted in a total shortage of 7.3 million units (based on research by Up for Growth National Coalition). A key driver in the changing rental markets will be the individual or families’ cost of living and the percentage required for housing.”

Source: “April Rents Rev Up for the Rental Season With the Highest Annual Increase in 16 Months,” RentCafe Blog (May 3, 2018)


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