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Apartment List National Rent Report
Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with fully representative median rent statistics for recent movers taken from the Census Bureau American Community Survey. We then extrapolate this data forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. Growth rates are calculated using a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods in order to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.
Our approach corrects for the sample bias inherent in private sources, producing results that are representative of the entire market. Our methodology also allows us to construct a picture of rent growth over an extended period of time, with estimates that are updated each month.
Welcome to the April 2019 National Apartment List Rent Report! Our national rent index stayed flat for the second straight month. Year-over-year growth now stands at 1.3 percent, lagging the rates from the two prior years.
Read on for an analysis of the trends we’re seeing this month.
National average Y/Y rent growth is a modest 1.3%
Our national rent index remained flat for the second straight month, following two months of slight decreases, a pattern that is consistent with the seasonal trend of stagnating rent growth during the winter months. Year-over-year growth currently stands at 1.3 percent, trailing the levels from the two prior years.
The national median rent has been essentially flat for the past nine months. The current 2-bedroom median of $1,175 matches the value from last November, and just slightly above the $1,171 median from last June. Flat or declining rents are typical in the fall and winter months, when fewer renters are looking to move, but growth was also sluggish for much of last summer, which is normally the peak season for rent growth. As a result, year-over-year growth is currently lagging the pace from the previous two years.
Year-over-year growth currently stands at 1.3 percent at the national level, which is well below the 2.1 percent rate we saw this time last year as well as the 2.2 percent rate from March 2017. Rent growth is generally in line with the overall rate of inflation, which stands at 1.6 percent as of the latest data release. However, rent growth is trailing growth in average hourly earnings, which have increased by 3.4 percent over the past twelve months. The recent moderation in rent growth is a welcome bit of relief as millions of our nation’s renters continue to struggle with housing affordability.
Las Vegas and Phoenix metros experiencing fastest growth over the past year
Tracking rent growth at the national level is informative and provides valuable context, but housing markets are inherently local, and in contrast to the modest growth of our national rent index, some parts of the country are experiencing much more rapid price increases.
Henderson, NV ranks third with an increase of 3.6 percent over the last year. Henderson is located just outside of Las Vegas, which ranks fifth on the list at 2.9 percent growth. The Las Vegas metro has seen rapid job growth in recent years, but many of those jobs are in low-paying service and tourism industries, and continued rent hikes could lead to affordability concerns.
Texas and North Carolina each also have multiple cities in the top 10. The cities on the list are all located in regions with strong local economies which offer good employment opportunities. Many of these cities represent more affordable options for those looking beyond the pricey coastal hubs.
Persistent rent hikes in CO and CA cities since 2014
For many of the cities mentioned above, rapid rent growth is not a new phenomenon. Three of the cities in the top 10 for fastest year-over-year growth — Mesa, AZ; Arlington, TX; and Aurora, CO — also make the list for fastest rent growth over the past five years.
Aurora, CO tops this list, with rent growth of 34.6 percent since March 2014, followed closely by nearby Colorado Springs. For comparison, our national rent index grew by just 12.7% over this period. Interestingly, Denver itself is absent from this list and the one above — it seems that while the metro’s core city is driving job growth in the region, the surrounding suburbs are seeing the biggest impacts to their rental markets. A similar trend can be seen in other booming metro areas represented in these lists, such as Dallas and San Francisco.
Stockton, CA, which sits on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay area ranks third on this list — notably, Stockton also ranked third in our report on the metros with the highest shares of “super commuters” who travel more than 90 minutes each way to work. Four other California cities make the top 10 for rent growth over the past five years, speaking to the ongoing affordability crisis that continues to plague the state.
Please see the table below for the most recent rent estimates for your city, or head over to our rental data page to download complete data going back to 2014. And as always, feel free to contact us with any questions!