April Rental Report: Sun Belt Metros Drive Sustained Growth in Nationwide Rents


April Highlights

  • Rent has reached yet another high ($1,827) in Realtor.com data history, as growth continues nationwide at a pace in line with the last four months (+16.7%).
  • Studio units continue to see rents increase at a faster rate than larger units, reversing the pattern from last year, particularly in the largest metros like New York City (29.1%), Los Angeles (23.2%), and Chicago (21.5%).
  • Rent increases are most pronounced in Sun Belt metros, especially ones where housing demand from outsiders is growing faster than the supply of rental units built in recent years.

Nationwide Rents Continue Rapid Growth, but Pace Has Leveled Off 

The median rent in the 50 largest US metropolitan areas reached a new record high in April: $1,827. Rent has been steadily increasing since January 2021, following the general trend in housing prices and rebounding from a dip in the first year of the pandemic. The rental supply has been strained in recent months, as evidenced by the national rental vacancy rate holding below 6% in each of the last three quarters. Landlords with fewer available units are able to charge higher rents, and at the same time, for-sale home prices continue to climb. Today’s renters are left with few options but to pay these rising rents. 

 

Figure 1: Year-over-Year Rent Trend

 

One possible signal of relief from this surge can be found by tracking year-over-year rent growth. April’s rents were up 16.7% from April 2021. This marks the third consecutive month in which year-over-year rent growth has slowed, albeit modestly, from the 17.1% peak this January. Still, this level of rent increase is severe. If annual rent growth were to remain around 17% through the summer, the national median rent would eclipse $2,000 this August.

 

Studio Rents are Growing the Fastest

Studio unit rents increased at the fastest pace again this month, growing 17.2% from April 2021 compared to 15.9% for 2-bedroom units and 15.6% for 1-bedroom units. Studios have seen the most year-over-year rent growth every month so far this year, rebounding later than larger rentals from the price decreases in late 2021 and early 2021. 1- and 2-bedroom rents both decreased in year-over-year growth from March into April, driving the general slowdown. Studio apartments are less costly and generally attract renters with more flexible living arrangements, so they were more easily vacated early in the pandemic and are now in higher demand for those looking to move into their own place or to return to major city centers. Studio rents in New York City (29.1%), Los Angeles (23.2%), and Chicago (21.5%) all grew at a faster year-over-year rate than the national average.

 

Table 1: National Rents by Unit Size

Unit Size Median Rent Rent YoY Rent Change – 2 years
Overall $1,827 16.7% 21.0%
Studio $1,499 17.2% 15.3%
1-bed $1,675 15.6% 19.7%
2-bed $2,552 15.9% 23.7%

Figure 2: National Rent by Unit Size Trend

 

Rent Growth Concentrated in Sun Belt

Leading the charge in nationwide rents are three Florida metros. Rent in Miami was up 51.6% from April of last year. Orlando (32.9%) and Tampa (27.8%) followed close behind. Recent analysis of cross-market search demand has shown that homebuyers are increasingly interested in relocating to the Sun Belt, and this migration trend has made its way into the rental market as well. 

Along with the top three rent growth metros in Florida, southern and southwestern cities like San Diego (25.6%), Las Vegas (24.8%), Austin (24.7%), Nashville (24.1%), Raleigh (23.9%) and Jacksonville (23.3%) are among the top ten markets where rent has grown the fastest year-over-year. Conversely, the chillier climates of Pittsburgh (4.2%), Detroit (4.5%), and Minneapolis (5.5%) have contributed to these metro areas landing in the bottom three for rent growth. In the case of Minneapolis, a supply-side factor is also in play, as the growth in the number of units permitted for construction in building projects of five units or more has far outpaced the national average over the past four years. Meanwhile, Miami has trailed the national growth in new multifamily construction, and the lack of housing options for new arrivals to the area has added fuel to the rent growth fire.

 

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Rental Data – 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas – April 2022

Metro Overall Median Rent Overall Rent YY Studio Median Rent Studio Rent YY 1-br Median Rent 1-br Rent YY 2-br Median Rent 2-br Rent YY
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA $1,829 16.7% $1,665 17.9% $1,700 17.4% $2,035 17.7%
Austin-Round Rock, TX $1,800 24.7% $1,450 25.0% $1,652 26.7% $1,951 18.5%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $1,800 12.5% $1,485 12.5% $1,701 12.1% $1,900 11.0%
Birmingham-Hoover, AL $1,189 7.8% $1,073 11.7% $1,120 7.2% $1,283 8.3%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH $2,825 22.7% $2,400 27.4% $2,600 18.3% $3,190 23.9%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY $1,290 7.5% $1,125 2.7% $1,125 3.0% $1,445 7.8%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $1,675 19.5% $1,563 21.8% $1,588 21.3% $1,840 17.3%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $1,923 13.5% $1,580 21.5% $1,880 13.9% $2,160 9.6%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN $1,416 8.9% $1,200 13.2% $1,360 8.8% $1,576 8.4%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH $1,409 10.7% $950 4.4% $1,319 6.2% $1,540 14.1%
Columbus, OH $1,275 11.1% $1,095 10.1% $1,200 11.9% $1,390 9.4%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $1,655 21.3% $1,375 18.5% $1,508 22.4% $1,918 20.3%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO $1,970 15.3% $1,600 14.7% $1,848 16.0% $2,331 16.3%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI $1,385 4.5% $1,074 7.9% $1,165 6.4% $1,545 4.6%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT $1,626 7.5% $1,497 32.5% $1,440 2.9% $1,955 11.7%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $1,435 13.1% $1,344 11.6% $1,310 13.4% $1,609 12.7%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $1,237 8.9% $1,050 8.4% $1,130 8.2% $1,374 10.9%
Jacksonville, FL $1,600 23.3% $1,430 42.3% $1,484 20.8% $1,757 24.4%
Kansas City, MO-KS $1,233 10.6% $1,014 9.1% $1,115 13.0% $1,465 11.3%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV $1,649 24.8% $1,315 13.4% $1,519 25.5% $1,750 22.3%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $3,016 20.9% $2,279 23.2% $2,767 23.9% $3,445 18.2%
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN $1,204 13.6% $1,005 12.0% $1,135 12.9% $1,359 8.6%
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $1,409 22.0% $1,139 10.6% $1,362 21.2% $1,561 22.6%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL $2,800 51.6% $2,450 45.9% $2,462 45.7% $3,150 54.8%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $1,525 9.3% $1,200 6.2% $1,428 9.8% $1,750 10.7%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $1,580 5.5% $1,245 4.2% $1,495 5.5% $1,925 4.4%
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN $1,760 24.2% $1,749 22.7% $1,618 20.3% $1,914 26.9%
New Orleans-Metairie, LA $1,798 12.4% $1,300 28.4% $1,590 6.3% $2,020 7.8%
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $2,845 18.0% $2,581 29.1% $2,573 12.2% $3,166 13.1%
Oklahoma City, OK $985 13.0% $913 30.6% $916 14.6% $1,050 11.2%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $1,927 32.9% $1,630 23.7% $1,772 30.9% $2,190 36.9%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $1,775 7.6% $1,413 2.0% $1,679 4.1% $1,975 6.1%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $1,915 20.1% $1,429 20.4% $1,650 20.7% $2,225 14.7%
Pittsburgh, PA $1,475 4.2% $1,261 12.4% $1,450 5.7% $1,592 -2.0%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $1,764 12.1% $1,400 9.8% $1,710 11.2% $2,049 11.8%
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $2,200 25.4% $1,468 4.9% $1,765 13.5% $2,575 29.9%
Raleigh, NC $1,615 23.9% $1,458 22.1% $1,485 24.5% $1,791 21.3%
Richmond, VA $1,435 17.0% $1,147 15.0% $1,305 18.1% $1,559 16.4%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $2,729 12.3% $1,400 -6.7% $2,184 14.5% $3,000 13.3%
Rochester, NY $1,320 9.5% $980 8.6% $1,265 13.6% $1,405 7.7%
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA $2,045 10.1% $1,845 11.5% $1,901 7.6% $2,230 10.9%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $1,385 19.4% $1,242 16.4% $1,264 20.1% $1,599 21.0%
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $3,125 25.6% $2,447 23.1% $2,769 22.5% $3,500 23.5%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $3,000 11.1% $2,350 15.6% $2,750 11.4% $3,500 9.5%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $3,165 19.9% $2,490 23.9% $2,920 18.8% $3,545 18.2%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $2,165 17.2% $1,799 23.4% $2,145 16.2% $2,633 18.4%
St. Louis, MO-IL $1,331 8.7% $1,000 6.1% $1,272 10.8% $1,462 6.1%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL $2,163 27.8% $1,989 28.0% $1,896 28.0% $2,390 26.6%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC $1,531 13.4% $1,343 10.6% $1,436 10.6% $1,669 12.8%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria,DC-VA-MD-WV $2,115 12.4% $1,722 14.1% $2,017 12.2% $2,499 10.6%

 

Methodology

Rental data as of April for units advertised as for-rent on Realtor.com®. Rental units include apartment communities as well as private rentals (condos, townhomes, single-family homes). All units were studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom units. We use communities that reliably report data each month within the top 50 largest metropolitan areas. National rents were calculated by averaging the medians of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.Realtor.com® began publishing regular monthly rental trends reports in October 2020 with data history stretching back to March 2019.

Note: With the release of its February 2022 rent report, Realtor.com® incorporated a new and improved methodology for capturing and reporting rental listing trends and metrics. The new methodology is expected to yield a cleaner and more consistent measurement of rental listings and trends at both the national and local level. The methodology has been adjusted to better account for cases where new or missing data may not be completely at random. Most areas across the country will see minor changes with a smaller handful of areas seeing larger updates. As a result of these changes, the rental data released since March 2022 will not be directly comparable with previous releases (files downloaded before March 2022) and Realtor.com® economics blog posts. However, future data releases, including historical data, will consistently apply the new methodology.

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Joel Berner,

Danielle HaleDanielle Hale



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