National Rents Hit their 14th Straight Month of Record-Highs


The majority of renters report that rental costs are their biggest financial strain and barrier to putting aside savings

New data indicates that rental competition remained relentless in April, as the U.S. median rental price hit a new high ($1,827) for the 14th month in a row, according to the Realtor.com Monthly Rental Report released today. These trends spotlight the affordability struggles reported by renters in Realtor.com®‘s Avail Quarterly Landlord and Renter Survey also published today, which found higher rents are increasingly cutting into households’ budgets for regular expenses and savings.

“April data illustrates the perfect storm of supply and demand dynamics behind the continued rent surge, from a low number of available rentals to higher for-sale housing costs forcing many would-be buyers to rent for longer than planned,” said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Renters are being left with few options but to meet higher rents and, in some cases, even offer above asking – whether they can afford to or not. Avail’s new survey shows rents are not only maxing out renters’ housing budgets but are the biggest strain on their overall finances, even as inflation drives up expenses across the board. For renters trying to stay on budget, making a list of must-have features is key and using a tool like the Realtor.com® Rentals app can help you find (and stick to) your parameters. This will be especially important as, if recent trends continue, we expect the typical U.S. asking rent to eclipse $2,000 by August.”

April 2022 Rental Metrics – National

Unit Size Median Rent Change over April 2021 Change over April 2020
Overall $1,827 16.7% 21.0%
Studio $1,500 17.2% 15.2%
1-bed $1,679 15.7% 19.9%
2-bed $2,062 16.0% 23.8%

April rents maintain record-breaking run, despite annual growth cooling slightly
Realtor.com®‘s April data showed national rents maintained their record-breaking run that began in January 2021, despite posting a slightly smaller year-over-year gain than in March. The continued rent surge is attributed to the mismatch between rental supply and rising demand, largely from would-be homebuyers. Some of these aspiring homeowners are staying in the rental market for longer than they may have intended, due to intensifying cost pressures driven by both the longstanding housing supply shortage and more recent inflationary economy. If these trends continue, national asking rents will likely surpass 2022’s forecasted year-over-year growth projections (+7.1%) by end of year.

  • The U.S. median rental price hit a new high of $1,827 in April, while the annual growth rate (+16.7%) moderated slightly from the March pace (+17.0%). Still, rents continued to rise at a double-digit annual pace, reaching 21.0% higher than in April 2020 right after the onset of COVID.
  • Studio rents grew at a faster year-over-year pace (+17.2%) than one-bedrooms (+15.6%) and two-bedrooms (+15.9%). This is largely due to the ongoing rental market comeback in major downtowns where smaller living spaces are common, with studio rents up double-digits over April 2021 in all 10 of the biggest tech hubs, led by: New York City (29.1%), Boston (+27.4%) and Austin, Texas (+25.0%).
  • In a potential reflection of shifting migration patterns during the pandemic, the five large markets that posted April’s biggest overall rental price gains year-over-year were in the Sun Belt: Miami (+51.6%), Orlando, Fla. (32.9%), Tampa, Fla. (27.8%), San Diego (25.6%) and Las Vegas (24.8%).

Avail survey finds renters are struggling to keep up with rising costs
With rental demand on the rise, landlords with limited available units are able to adjust asking rents on both new and renewing leases to reflect the increasingly competitive market. In fact, the majority of landlords surveyed by Realtor.com®‘s Avail reported plans to increase rental prices within the next 12 months. This could mean further rental affordability challenges, with many surveyed renters already feeling the squeeze on their finances and savings, as inflation drives up the cost of everything from rent to regular household expenses.

  • Among renters surveyed in April, 66.1% said higher rents and related household costs are their top cause of financial strain – ahead of other expenses like food and groceries (57.3%) and auto and transportation (50.8%).
  • Higher rents are also limiting renters’ ability to save, with more than three-quarters of renters (76.1%) saving less each month than at the same time last year. The typical household surveyed reported being able to save just $50 each month.
  • Of respondents whose rents have gone up on their current unit, 72.9% are considering a move to a more affordable rental. However, lower-cost options are dwindling, with renters who moved in the past year typically paying higher rents ($350) than they did previously. Those who are staying put are trying to cut costs, most commonly on entertainment (67.1%) and food and groceries (62.3%).
  • Additionally, trends among surveyed landlords indicate that renters aren’t likely to see relief any time soon. Nearly three-quarters of landlords (72.1%) plan to raise the rent of at least one property this year, up from 65.1% in the January survey.

“Our survey data underscores how renters and landlords alike are feeling the squeeze of inflation and higher costs. For renters in particular, many may understandably feel caught between a rock and a hard place, but remember that there are resources that can help. Doing your research can go a long way in helping you prepare to navigate rent increases and their impact on your family’s finances,” said Ryan Coon, Avail co-founder and VP of Rentals at Realtor.com®.

Renters grappling with higher costs can access free financial counseling through the Renter Advantage program, a collaboration between Realtor.com®‘s Avail, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the Housing Partnership Network, and Wells Fargo. Learn more here.

April 2022 Rental Metrics – 50 Largest U.S. Metro Areas

Metro Area Overall
Median
Rent
Overall
Rent
YoY
Studio
Median
Rent
Studio
Rent
YoY
1-br
Median
Rent
1-br
Rent
YoY
2-br
Median
Rent
2-br
Rent
YoY
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. $1,829 16.7% $1,665 17.9% $1,700 17.4% $2,035 17.7%
Austin-Round Rock, Texas $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, Ala. $1,189 7.8% $1,073 11.7% $1,120 7.2% $1,283 8.3%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. $2,825 22.7% $2,400 27.4% $2,600 18.3% $3,190 23.9%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y. $1,290 7.5% $1,125 2.7% $1,125 3.0% $1,445 7.8%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. $1,675 19.5% $1,563 21.8% $1,588 21.3% $1,840 17.3%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. $1,923 13.5% $1,580 21.5% $1,880 13.9% $2,160 9.6%
Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. $1,416 8.9% $1,200 13.2% $1,360 8.8% $1,576 8.4%
Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio $1,409 10.7% $950 4.4% $1,319 6.2% $1,540 14.1%
Columbus, Ohio $1,275 11.1% $1,095 10.1% $1,200 11.9% $1,390 9.4%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas $1,655 21.3% $1,375 18.5% $1,508 22.4% $1,918 20.3%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. $1,970 15.3% $1,600 14.7% $1,848 16.0% $2,331 16.3%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich. $1,385 4.5% $1,074 7.9% $1,165 6.4% $1,545 4.6%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. $1,626 7.5% $1,497 32.5% $1,440 2.9% $1,955 11.7%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas $1,435 13.1% $1,344 11.6% $1,310 13.4% $1,609 12.7%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind. $1,237 8.9% $1,050 8.4% $1,130 8.2% $1,374 10.9%
Jacksonville, Fla. $1,600 23.3% $1,430 42.3% $1,484 20.8% $1,757 24.4%
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. $1,233 10.6% $1,014 9.1% $1,115 13.0% $1,465 11.3%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. $1,649 24.8% $1,315 13.4% $1,519 25.5% $1,750 22.3%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. $3,016 20.9% $2,279 23.2% $2,767 23.9% $3,445 18.2%
Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. $1,204 13.6% $1,005 12.0% $1,135 12.9% $1,359 8.6%
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. $1,409 22.0% $1,139 10.6% $1,362 21.2% $1,561 22.6%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. $3,045 53.9% $2,500 46.0% $2,659 51.9% $3,500 54.3%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. $1,525 9.3% $1,200 6.2% $1,428 9.8% $1,750 10.7%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. $1,580 5.5% $1,245 4.2% $1,495 5.5% $1,925 4.4%
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tenn. $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, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. $2,845 18.0% $2,581 29.1% $2,573 12.2% $3,166 13.1%
Oklahoma City, Okla. $985 13.0% $913 30.6% $916 14.6% $1,050 11.2%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. $1,927 32.9% $1,630 23.7% $1,772 30.9% $2,190 36.9%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. $1,775 7.6% $1,413 2.0% $1,679 4.1% $1,975 6.1%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. $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, Ore.-Wash. $1,764 12.1% $1,400 9.8% $1,710 11.2% $2,049 11.8%
Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. $2,200 25.4% $1,468 4.9% $1,765 13.5% $2,575 29.9%
Raleigh, N.C. $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, Calif. $2,729 12.3% $1,400 -6.7% $2,184 14.5% $3,000 13.3%
Rochester, N.Y. $1,320 9.5% $980 8.6% $1,265 13.6% $1,405 7.7%
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif. $2,045 10.1% $1,845 11.5% $1,901 7.6% $2,230 10.9%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas $1,385 19.4% $1,242 16.4% $1,264 20.1% $1,599 21.0%
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. $3,125 25.6% $2,447 23.1% $2,769 22.5% $3,500 23.5%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. $3,000 11.1% $2,350 15.6% $2,750 11.4% $3,500 9.5%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. $3,165 19.9% $2,490 23.9% $2,920 18.8% $3,545 18.2%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. $2,165 17.2% $1,799 23.4% $2,145 16.2% $2,633 18.4%
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. $1,331 8.7% $1,000 6.1% $1,272 10.8% $1,462 6.1%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. $2,163 27.8% $1,989 28.0% $1,896 28.0% $2,390 26.6%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. $1,531 13.4% $1,343 10.6% $1,436 10.6% $1,669 12.8%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va. $2,115 12.4% $1,722 14.1% $2,017 12.2% $2,499 10.6%

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