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Sept. 16, 2021, 6:00 a.m. EDT

Realtor.com® August Rental Report: National Rent Growth Hits Double-Digits

The U.S. median rental price increased 11.5% year-over-year in August to $1,607 per month- Two-bedroom (+12.3%) and one-bedroom (+11.6%) rents posted double-digit gains over last year; studio rents rise 8.3% year-over-year in August- Annual rent growth hits double-digits in 28 of the 50 largest U.S. metros, continuing to skyrocket in secondary metros like Tampa (+30.6%) and Riverside, Calif. (+28.6%)- Rents still lag behind historical peaks in just four markets, all of which are big tech cities: New York, Boston, San Francisco and San Jose

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. rental market is booming. Rental prices hit double-digit growth for the first time in two years in August and grew three times faster than in March 2020 (prior to the onset of COVID), according to the Realtor.com [®] Monthly Rental Report released today. Additionally, rents posted double-digit gains over last year in more than half of the 50 largest metros, led by Tampa (+30.6%), Riverside, Calif. (+28.6%), Miami (+27.0%) and Phoenix (+25.5%).

"Put simply, August trends suggest rents are making up for lost time. Rents remained low during some of the worst months of the pandemic, growing at a sub-2% pace from September 2020 to March 2021, which is also when for-sale home prices were growing by double-digits," said Realtor.com [®] Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "Now we've reached a stage in the COVID recovery where people are ready to move, and we're seeing urgency to find new living spaces immediately. A lot of this demand can be attributed to vaccines opening up offices and city-life, young adults feeling more confident to strike out on their own, and homebuyers needing to take a break from the red hot housing market. And many are willing to pay top dollar to make that happen quickly, which may lead to even more growth in rents over the next few months."

National rents rise by double-digits as all unit sizes reach new rent highs

The U.S. median rental price reached a new high of $1,633 in August as rent growth accelerated to a double-digit pace, up 11.5% year-over-year. Annual rent growth has now tripled since March 2020 (+3.2%) before the pandemic began.

All unit sizes tracked by Realtor.com [®] reached new rental price highs in August: Two-bedrooms at $1,828, one-bedrooms at $1,524 and studios at $1,338. With demand for more space rising during the pandemic, both two-bedroom (+12.3%) and one-bedroom (11.6%) rents grew by double-digits over last year in August. Studio rents also saw a sizable increase of 8.3% year-over-year to a median $1,338 per month.

Rents continue surging in the majority of large markets, led by secondary metros

In 28 of the 50 largest U.S. markets, rents posted double-digit gains over last year in August. Median rental prices increased by at least 21% year-over-year in each of the 10 metros by August's highest yearly rent growth, which were: Tampa (+30.6%), Riverside (+28.6%), Miami (+27.0%), Phoenix (+25.5%), Las Vegas (+23.4%), San Diego (+23.4%), Memphis (+21.8%), Austin (+21.7%), Orlando (+21.4%) and Atlanta (+21.2%).

Many of August's fastest-growing rental markets are secondary metros offering relatively affordable housing and balanced lifestyles, which have attracted big tech city renters working remotely during COVID. With rents rising at a faster yearly pace than in nearby Los Angeles (+10.2%) in August, Riverside has held one of the top spots for the highest rent gains for the fourth straight month. Even with the surge in rents, Riverside's median rental price of $2,234 in August remained lower than in Los Angeles($2,800).

Big tech city rents still lag behind historical peaks, but are gaining ground

Over the course of this summer (June-August 2021), rents hit new two-year highs in 46 of the 50 largest metros. The remaining four markets in August were big tech cities where annual rent growth had yet to fully recover from steep declines seen earlier in the pandemic: New York (-6.5%), Boston (0.0%), San Francisco (+1.4%) and San Jose (+7.0%). Rents may not be high relative to recent history in these big tech cities, but they are more expensive than in other markets. All four of these areas made August's top five list of metros by highest rental prices, led by San Jose at a median $2,995.

On top of this, big tech city rents are gaining ground as some homebuyers consider taking a break from this year's challenging market, marked by a shortage of affordable homes for sale. In August, San Jose rents grew over 50% faster year-over-year than overall home listing prices (+4.2%), at a median $1.25 million in August. If August trends continue, San Jose rents are on track to surpass the previous peak seen in March 2020($3,127) by end-of-year.

"Many of today's renters are future homebuyers, so while rising rents can be viewed as a good thing – a signal of rebounding economic activity – they need to be navigated carefully by households hoping to own a home one day. Whether you plan on buying a home in 2022 or 2027, it's important to remember that housing costs are typically your largest monthly expense. In other words, what you spend on rent will impact how much you have left to save. Prospective renters can use tools like the Realtor.com [®] Rentals app to search for and set up custom search alerts about rentals that meet their criteria – including price ranges – to help them stay on-budget," Hale said.

Renters planning on homebuying in the future can also use tools like Realtor.com [®] 's Real Estate app to stay on top of home prices in their desired areas and its Mortgage Calculator to help them manage their budgets, on their timeline for making the transition from renting to buying. 

Realtor.com® August 2021 Rental Data - Top 10 Markets for Rent Increases
Rank Metro Overall Rent Overall Rent YY
1 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. $1,760 30.6%
2 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. $2,234 28.6%
3 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. $2,432 27.0%
4 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. $1,688 25.5%
5 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. $1,515 23.4%
6 San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. $2,695 23.4%
7 Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. $1,200 21.8%
8 Austin-Round Rock, Texas $1,618 21.7%
9 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. $1,620 21.4%
10 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. $1,697 21.2%

 

Realtor.com® August 2021 Rental Data - 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas
Metro Overall Rent Overall Rent YY 1br Rent 1br Rent YY 2br Rent 2br Rent YY
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. $1,697 21.2% $1,600 22.2% $1,857 21.8%
Austin-Round Rock, Texas $1,618 21.7% $1,486 22.5% $1,809 22.1%
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. $1,685 9.6% $1,600 9.7% $1,782 7.7%
Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. $1,093 12.7% $1,056 12.9% $1,120 12.6%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. $2,499 0.0% $2,365 0.8% $2,700 -4.9%
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y. $1,195 9.6% $1,070 7.3% $1,355 11.5%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. $1,515 17.5% $1,399 17.1% $1,669 17.1%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. $1,690 -0.3% $1,650 0.3% $1,895 -0.3%
Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. $1,195 12.2% $1,136 9.2% $1,275 10.0%
Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio $1,105 7.3% $1,075 9.7% $1,205 10.1%
Columbus, Ohio $1,175 11.4% $1,100 10.6% $1,270 12.4%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas $1,450 16.0% $1,330 17.5% $1,725 19.8%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. $1,888 14.4% $1,769 16.0% $2,185 15.3%
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich. $1,205 9.0% $1,045 10.0% $1,350 7.1%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. $1,525 5.2% $1,425 3.3% $1,700 6.6%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas $1,300 7.9% $1,195 9.3% $1,474 8.8%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $1,160 14.1% $1,074 13.7% $1,300 18.7%
Jacksonville, Fla. $1,406 20.5% $1,315 24.8% $1,533 22.6%
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. $1,149 7.1% $1,045 5.9% $1,350 8.0%
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. $1,515 23.4% $1,385 24.8% $1,655 24.6%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. $2,800 10.2% $2,550 10.9% $3,374 12.5%
Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. $1,030 8.4% $981 6.1% $1,121 13.2%
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. $1,200 21.8% $1,181 22.6% $1,250 25.0%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. $2,432 27.0% $2,150 26.5% $2,802 24.5%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. $1,415 5.6% $1,305 2.8% $1,650 9.6%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. $1,500 3.4% $1,435 2.9% $1,833 7.8%
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn. $1,540 16.2% $1,486 18.4% $1,577 13.8%
New Orleans-Metairie, La. $1,329 -3.3% $1,279 -1.6% $1,500 -0.3%
New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. $2,455 -6.5% $2,275 -9.0% $2,750 -5.2%
Oklahoma City, Okla. $850 5.1% $759 5.4% $899 2.7%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. $1,620 21.4% $1,513 22.5% $1,818 28.0%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del-Md. $1,630 2.3% $1,580 2.9% $1,845 4.4%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. $1,688 25.5% $1,515 27.6% $1,894 26.3%
Pittsburgh, Pa. $1,395 10.6% $1,350 11.6% $1,512 10.4%
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. $1,695 12.5% $1,635 10.9% $1,914 17.1%
Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. $1,795 7.3% $1,600 4.4% $2,000 11.1%
Raleigh, N.C. $1,473 18.9% $1,359 19.7% $1,649 22.1%
Richmond, Va. $1,285 12.8% $1,175 15.3% $1,440 15.0%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. $2,234 28.6% $1,900 24.5% $2,545 34.0%
Rochester, N.Y. $1,209 9.4% $1,100 10.1% $1,335 6.8%
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif. $1,895 18.9% $1,764 18.8% $2,000 18.0%
San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas $1,182 11.3% $1,098 13.8% $1,354 13.9%
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. $2,695 23.4% $2,495 27.0% $2,998 20.9%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. $2,895 1.4% $2,690 -0.4% $3,352 -1.4%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. $2,995 7.0% $2,786 7.6% $3,400 6.3%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. $2,053 11.9% $2,068 12.4% $2,299 8.4%
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. $1,155 6.5% $1,129 10.1% $1,240 7.8%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. $1,760 30.6% $1,629 35.9% $1,980 35.2%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. $1,350 13.4% $1,315 13.6% $1,445 15.6%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V. $2,051 5.7% $1,961 4.6% $2,405 8.5%

Methodology Rental data as of August 2021, with data history going back to March 2019. 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. National rents were calculated by averaging the medians of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

About Realtor.com [®] Realtor.com [®] makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com [®] pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com [®] pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com [®] is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com [®] is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS [®] . For more information, visit Realtor.com [®] .

Media Contact rachel.conner@move.com

 

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SOURCE Realtor.com

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