National rents hit a new high of $1,807 in March; Sun Belt metros top the list of biggest two-year rent gains, beating out large tech hubs

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. rental prices grew by nearly 20% from March 2020 to 2022 during the pandemic, according to the Realtor.com® Monthly Rental Report released today. Additionally, two-year rental trends indicate some redistribution of higher rents across the 50 largest markets during COVID, as renters migrated from expensive big tech cities to relatively more affordable areas. Sun Belt metros topped the list of fastest-growing rental markets from March 2020-2022, led by Miami, Riverside, Calif. and Tampa, Fla., while big tech hubs posted many of the country's smallest two-year rent gains.

"With asking rents nearly 1.2 times higher than two years ago, our March data highlights rising rental affordability challenges faced by many Americans today," said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "At the same time, March rental trends offer early signs of relief from the feverish pace of rent growth, which moderated year-over-year for the second month in a row. We expect cooling to continue over time, but the jury is still out on whether rent growth will hit single-digits by the end of 2022. This is largely due to the mismatch between rental supply, with vacancy rates at record-lows, and demand rising as some would-be buyers potentially turn to renting in the face of higher home prices and mortgage rates. While the jobs market is strong, it's unlikely that we'll see enough income growth to keep rents under 30% of monthly paychecks – especially with higher inflation and everyday costs. Still, there is a silver lining for renters, as rents won't be able to sustain an accelerated pace if incomes can't keep up."

March 2022 Rental Metrics – National

Unit Size

Median Rent

Change over March. 2021

Change over March. 2020

Overall

$1,807

17.0% ($263)

19.3% ($292)

Studio

$1,483

16.9% ($215)

12.6% ($166)

1-bed

$1,659

16.3% ($232)

17.9% ($252)

2-bed

$2,028

16.4% ($286)

21.9% ($364)

Rents grow by nearly 20% in the two years since the pandemic began

The U.S. median rental price hit a new high of $1,807 in March, up 19.3% in just two years, highlighting a roller coaster ride of change since the pandemic began. Following a slowdown in 2020 at the onset of COVID, rents significantly made up lost ground in 2021 and have since maintained a feverish pace of annual rent growth. In fact, March marked the eighth consecutive month of double-digit annual rent gains (+17.0%), even as the pace moderated slightly over February (+17.1%).

Although the underlying reasons have shifted over the course of the pandemic, data suggests that renting remains a popular option for Americans who desire flexibility. With the rise in remote work earlier on, renting offered an attractive option for those looking to explore living in relatively affordable markets further from big tech cities. Now that for-sale home prices and mortgage rates are climbing, many would-be buyers are turning to renting and driving up rental prices. In March, rents grew nearly four-times faster year-over-year (+17.0%) than in March 2020 (+4.3%).

With demand for more living space rising during COVID, rental prices for two-bedroom (+21.9%) and one-bedroom (+17.9%) units increased at the fastest rates from March 2020-2022. Studio rents, which experienced the biggest rental declines at the onset of COVID, posted relatively smaller two-year gains (+12.6%) in March. However, studio rents are quickly making up lost ground, posting the highest annual rental price gains among unit sizes for the third consecutive month in March.

Pandemic drives some redistribution of the fastest-growing rental markets

Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, COVID rental trends indicate some redistribution of high rents from the biggest tech cities to relatively more affordable metros outside of major downtowns. In March, big tech cities accounted for none of the top 10 metros by highest two-year rent growth. Instead, this list was dominated by Sun Belt markets, led by Miami with an increase of 58.0% over March 2020 (see table below).

Additionally, big tech cities represented five of the 10 slowest-growing rental markets from March 2020-2022. Despite these setbacks, many major tech hubs continue to command some of the nation's highest rents. Even San Jose, where rents remain largely unchanged from March 2020 levels (+0.1%), claimed the country's highest median rent ($3,075). Still, March rental data signals some final opportunities for renters to find savings in major metros like San Francisco, where rents for studios (-13.0%) and one-beds (-3.3%) declined over March 2020.

"With booming employment and the growing back-to-office wave stoking demand, big rents are back in big tech cities. Still, our March data suggests select tech hubs like San Francisco might still offer bargains on studios relative to pre-COVID rents. And for some, such as Gen Zers striking out on their own, even small rental savings could make a large difference," said George Ratiu, Realtor.com® Senior Economist & Manager of Economic Research. "Regardless of your stage of life, with rising prices taking a bigger bite out of paychecks, it's important to stay focused on financial health by keeping rental costs to a smaller percentage of your take-home pay. A tool like the Realtor.com® Rental App can help you customize your search and get alerts about newly-listed rentals in your budget." 

March 2022 Rental Metrics – Top Markets by Biggest & Smallest Rent Gains Over March 2020

Biggest-Growth Markets, March 2020-2022

Smallest-Growth Markets, March 2020-2022

Rank

Metro

Average 2-yr
Rent Change

Median rent,
March 2022

Rank

Metro

Average 2-yr
Rent Change

Median rent,
March 2022

1

Miami, Fla.

58.0%

$2,988

1

Buffalo, N.Y.

-2.3%

$1,293

2

Riverside, Calif.

48.2%

$2,687

2

San Jose, Calif.*

0.1%

$3,075

3

Tampa, Fla.

45.8%

$2,114

3

San Francisco, Calif.*

0.3%

$2,982

4

Memphis, Tenn.

41.4%

$1,403

4

Minneapolis, Minn.

3.9%

$1,572

5

Orlando, Fla.

34.7%

$1,886

5

Washington, DC*

5.1%

$2,093

6

Las Vegas, Nev.

34.4%

$1,623

6

Seattle, Wash.*

6.1%

$2,129

7

New Orleans, La.

33.3%

$1,800

7

Pittsburgh, Pa.

6.3%

$1,485

8

Richmond, Va.

30.0%

$1,430

8

Chicago, Ill.*

6.7%

$1,856

9

Jacksonville, Fla.

29.2%

$1,580

9

Milwaukee, Wis.

8.4%

$1,515

10

Phoenix, Ariz.

29.0%

$1,896

10

Detroit, Mich.

8.8%

$1,360

*10 largest U.S. tech cities  

 

March 2022 Rental Metrics – 50 Largest U.S. Metros

Metropolitan Statistical 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.

$1,822

18.8%

$1,667

18.3%

$1,688

18.9%

$2,025

18.7%

Austin-Round Rock, Texas

$1,777

25.9%

$1,447

25.5%

$1,640

27.6%

$1,924

20.9%

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md.

$1,768

10.5%

$1,467

15.9%

$1,707

13.6%

$1,875

10.1%

Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.

$1,195

8.4%

$982

3.0%

$1,117

6.8%

$1,265

6.9%

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.

$2,757

21.9%

$2,350

27.0%

$2,566

19.5%

$3,034

21.4%

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y.

$1,293

9.5%

$1,125

33.5%

$1,169

8.7%

$1,418

8.3%

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.

$1,647

19.9%

$1,509

20.0%

$1,547

20.3%

$1,805

16.9%

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

$1,856

11.3%

$1,429

10.3%

$1,850

12.8%

$2,083

6.8%

Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.

$1,395

7.7%

$1,139

11.9%

$1,337

7.4%

$1,550

5.9%

Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio

$1,383

6.6%

$969

4.8%

$1,319

6.1%

$1,500

9.6%

Columbus, Ohio

$1,254

10.8%

$1,052

5.7%

$1,178

11.6%

$1,358

8.6%

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

$1,629

21.2%

$1,357

18.8%

$1,488

22.6%

$1,920

21.7%

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.

$1,938

15.2%

$1,601

15.1%

$1,813

15.5%

$2,274

16.0%

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

$1,360

0.7%

$1,074

2.3%

$1,140

3.8%

$1,500

1.7%

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.

$1,625

8.7%

$1,512

33.8%

$1,463

5.1%

$1,923

14.1%

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas

$1,430

14.4%

$1,333

12.1%

$1,301

15.1%

$1,601

14.3%

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.

$1,225

11.5%

$1,040

10.2%

$1,124

9.7%

$1,362

13.5%

Jacksonville, Fla.

$1,580

23.2%

$1,309

19.9%

$1,464

22.1%

$1,748

28.0%

Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.

$1,221

11.0%

$1,017

7.6%

$1,084

10.4%

$1,420

11.6%

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.

$1,623

25.1%

$1,280

13.8%

$1,496

26.7%

$1,741

26.0%

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.

$3,000

20.2%

$2,235

21.0%

$2,731

23.2%

$3,410

17.6%

Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind.

$1,198

13.3%

$1,002

11.3%

$1,133

13.5%

$1,363

10.6%

Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.

$1,403

24.6%

$1,233

13.7%

$1,330

24.8%

$1,553

27.6%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.

$2,988

57.2%

$2,499

50.9%

$2,614

53.7%

$3,415

56.1%

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.

$1,515

8.6%

$1,223

8.7%

$1,419

9.3%

$1,750

10.4%

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.

$1,572

5.3%

$1,230

4.5%

$1,481

5.3%

$1,905

3.8%

Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, Tenn.

$1,727

23.1%

$1,707

24.0%

$1,604

21.8%

$1,864

23.2%

New Orleans-Metairie, La.

$1,800

15.2%

$1,257

0.6%

$1,594

6.3%

$2,053

14.0%

New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.

$2,750

14.6%

$2,525

26.3%

$2,496

9.1%

$3,056

10.9%

Oklahoma City, Okla.

$943

10.9%

$797

15.7%

$854

10.9%

$1,000

9.1%

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.

$1,886

35.0%

$1,645

27.5%

$1,739

33.0%

$2,129

40.9%

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.

$1,760

8.3%

$1,406

7.5%

$1,656

3.8%

$1,955

5.7%

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

$1,896

23.4%

$1,405

19.6%

$1,655

24.5%

$2,224

18.8%

Pittsburgh, Pa.

$1,485

7.9%

$1,218

9.4%

$1,449

11.0%

$1,595

1.0%

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.

$1,740

11.3%

$1,413

11.9%

$1,685

10.6%

$2,021

12.7%

Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass.*

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

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Raleigh, N.C.

$1,591

23.1%

$1,452

22.5%

$1,471

24.7%

$1,750

20.7%

Richmond, Va.

$1,430

18.5%

$1,137

15.7%

$1,300

19.5%

$1,538

16.0%

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

$2,687

13.9%

$1,515

1.7%

$2,155

14.9%

$3,000

16.1%

Rochester, N.Y.

$1,333

11.4%

$980

10.7%

$1,238

13.9%

$1,430

9.6%

Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, Calif.

$2,028

12.1%

$1,895

15.6%

$1,873

8.7%

$2,204

12.1%

San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas

$1,389

22.3%

$1,272

22.4%

$1,264

22.7%

$1,583

22.2%

San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.

$3,016

24.8%

$2,376

20.2%

$2,716

23.3%

$3,375

21.5%

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

$2,982

11.4%

$2,367

18.3%

$2,750

12.6%

$3,483

11.4%

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

$3,075

17.1%

$2,421

21.2%

$2,840

17.2%

$3,465

17.6%

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.

$2,129

17.5%

$1,774

23.5%

$2,095

16.5%

$2,599

17.9%

St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.

$1,310

9.2%

$995

2.1%

$1,238

9.9%

$1,450

9.6%

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

$2,114

31.1%

$1,944

27.3%

$1,876

31.4%

$2,358

29.8%

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.

$1,524

15.1%

$1,300

9.7%

$1,449

12.6%

$1,634

13.6%

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va.

$2,093

13.1%

$1,721

14.8%

$2,000

11.9%

$2,440

9.9%

 

Methodology

Rental data as of March 2022 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. *Providence, RI March 2022 rental data is currently under review. 

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 25 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps offers a marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs. 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. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.

Media Contact
rachel.conner@move.com 

 

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtorcom-march-rental-report-us-rental-prices-soar-by-nearly-20-in-just-two-years-301525500.html

SOURCE Realtor.com

Copyright 2022 PR Newswire

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