August Rents Rose at the Fastest Pace in 18 Months, as Apartment Construction Slows

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Key takeaways:

  • The national average rent reached an all-time high of $1,412 in August 2018, up by 3.1 percent ($42) year over year, and by 0.1 percent ($2) month over month, according to Yardi Matrix data.
  • Rents increased in 89 percent of the nation’s biggest 252 cities in August (including newly added Queens, NY and Honolulu, HI), stayed flat in 10 percent of cities, and dropped in only 1 percent of cities compared to August 2017.
  • Queens (NYC), Las Vegas, and Phoenix rents increased the most in one year, while Baltimore, San Antonio, and Washington, DC rents have changed the least among the nation’s largest cities. 

National apartment average rent August 2018

Rents push forward in August, rising by 3.1%, the fastest annual increase in 18 months

Fewer than expected apartment deliveries this year are increasing competition among existing apartments, pushing up the national average rent by another 3.1% year over year, to $1,412 in August. The national average monthly rent swelled by $42 since last August and $2 since last month. Above-average numbers of renters renewing leases at the end of the summer and heightened demand from college-age renters are also contributing to the rise in rents this time of year.

Orlando’s fast-growing rents outpaced the nation’s largest renter hubs

Of the top 20 largest renter hubs in the U.S., Orlando apartments are seeing the highest increase in rent over the past year, 7.7%, reaching $1,393 in August, while San Antonio apartments saw the weakest rent growth of the 20 cities, 1.5% in one year, posting an average rent of $996 per month in August. The biggest net changes in rent compared to August 2017 were felt by renters in Los Angeles, CA, who are paying on average $102 per month more this August compared to the same month last year. Orlando rents increased by no less than $99 per month, and Tampa, Chicago, IL, and Manhattan (New York City) rents are $77 above last year’s average. At the opposite end, rents in San Antonio saw the smallest uptick, only $15 more per month than they were one year ago.

One Year Rent Changes in 20 Renter Mega-Hubs August 2018

Percentage ChangeNet Change
Manhattan, NY$4,119
Los Angeles, CA$2,395
Washington, D.C.$2,145
Seattle, WA$2,066
Chicago, IL$1,904
Denver, CO$1,595
Atlanta, GA$1,406
Orlando, FL$1,393

Austin, TX$1,349

Tampa, FL$1,287
Charlotte, NC$1,201

Dallas, TX$1,176

Houston, TX$1,088

Fort Worth, TX$1,068

Jacksonville, FL$1,041

Las Vegas, NV$1,011

San Antonio, TX$996

Phoenix, AZ$996

Columbus, OH$912

Indianapolis, IN$842


NATIONAL: Rents in Nevada and Arizona feel the heat from increased demand

Housing in the Permian Basin continues to see the steepest price increases in the country. Apartments for rent in Midland, TX now cost $1,595 per month, a 31.9% leap from one year prior. Likewise, rentals in neighboring Odessa, TX cost $1,365 on average, having jumped 30% in one year.

Reno, NV‘s housing crunch is worsening due to limited land development and high demand for rentals. Rents in Reno are the third fastest rising in the country, behind only Midland and Odessa. The average rent in Reno is $1,253 per month, a massive 11.3% increase year over year, or $127 more per month compared to the same time last year. The average rent in Reno was around $900 just three years ago but has jumped by more than $300 in 36 months, making it increasingly unaffordable for renters. Nevada’s growing popularity as a destination for those moving out of California is reflected in rapidly-growing real estate prices. Besides Reno, apartments in Las Vegas are also getting expensive, with the third fastest growing rents in the U.S. compared to other large cities.

Peoria, AZ is facing a similar situation. What used to be an affordable town in the Phoenix area, with an average rent of about $900 per month no more than three years ago, now has apartments that go for $1,114 per month on average, over $200 more expensive, a big leap and a heavy burden for the area’s renters. Compared to August 2017, the average rent in Peoria is 10.1% or $102/month more expensive, the fourth fastest growing this August out of 252 cities surveyed. Likewise, rents in other parts of the Phoenix metro are also rising faster than most other parts of the country, as a consequence of strong demand boosted by big increases in population.

Lancaster, CA is fifth in the U.S. in terms of fastest-growing rents. The average rent in Lancaster shot up 9.7% year over year, reaching $1,274 per month. The likely reason? Not enough apartments are being built to keep up with the surge in renter population in this town located on the northern fringes of Los Angeles County.

RentCafe August 2018 National Rent Report


Rent prices have decreased in August in border town Brownsville, TX (-2% y-o-y), Orange County’s Irvine, CA (-0.9% y-o-y), Norman, OK (-0.9% y-o-y), Baton Rouge, LA  (-0.7%) and Dallas suburb Richardson, TX (-0.6%). Amarillo, TX, New Haven, CT, Baltimore, MD, Frisco, TX and Stamford, CT round up the 10 slowest growing rent prices in the U.S. in August.

LARGE CITIES: Rents rise the fastest in Queens, NY, Phoenix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV

Rent prices are racing in the New York City borough of Queens, up 8.4% compared to last year, with an average rent of $2,342, behind Manhattan’s average rent of $4,119 and Brooklyn’s $2,801. Rents in Manhattan are among the slowest growing in the U.S., 1.9%, while in Brooklyn rents were up 3.9%.

The second fastest growing rents among the nation’s largest cities are in Phoenix, AZ, up 6.8% over the year. The area has seen a surge in population in search of affordable housing and job opportunities. Even with prices of apartments growing at annual rates of 6-7%, the average rent is still affordable at $996 per month, especially when compared to most other major cities in the country.

Las Vegas is an increasingly popular place to move to, as Census population estimates show, but the local real estate market is slow to respond. New apartment construction is low, causing rents to go up significantly. An apartment in Las Vegas costs on average $1,011, up 6.2% since August 2017.

Large Cities RentCafe National Rent Prices August 2018

Renters in Baltimore, San Antonio, Manhattan, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia are getting a break from rising prices. These cities saw the slowest growing rents in August, ranging from 0.2% in Baltimore to 2.3% in Philadelphia.

See the complete list of cities at the end of this report.

MID-SIZE CITIES: Mesa and Tampa apartments see steepest rises in rents

Apartments in Mesa, AZ and Tampa, FL are seeing price increases above 6% in August. Rents in Mesa reached $965 per month, and in Tampa the average rent is $1,287. Sacramento, CA, Pittsburgh, and Fresno wrap up the top 5, with annual price increases of above 5%.

Pittsburgh, PA is emerging as a hot rental market, as the city’s job market is gaining traction in tech-related fields. The average rent in Steel City is $1,216, but it is expected to keep growing as apartment construction is not yet in line with the sudden increase in demand.

Mid-size Cities RentCafe National Rent Prices August 2018

At the other end of the chart are Wichita, KS, with rents decreasing by 0.8%, Lexington, KY, where prices for apartments moved by 1.1% in one year, Tulsa, OK, where rents changed by 1.3%, Virginia Beach, with prices up by only 1.4% and Albuquerque, NM, where rents saw a 1.7% uptick. The average rent in Lexington sits at $889 per month, in Virginia Beach it is slightly higher, at $1,169 per month, and in Albuquerque, it averages $852 per month.

SMALL CITIES: Rents in Midland and Odessa are over $300 per month more expensive than last year

The most fluctuating prices are in small cities at both ends of the list. The top 20 list of highest annual rent increases is dominated by small cities (17 out of 20). Midland and Odessa,  however, stand out from the rest of them, with annual percentage increases of over 30%, which translate into an additional $300 or more per month to the average rent check. The region is economically centered around the oil industry and it’s booming, and real estate prices are taking off as well.

Small cities make up most of the bottom of the list, as well, in terms of slowest growing rents: Brownsville, TX, Irvine, CA, Norman, OK, Baton Rouge, LA, and Richardson, TX saw rents stagnate over the past year. Akron, OH, Thousand Oaks, CA, and McKinney, TX are in the same boat.

RentCafe August Rent Report


The top with the 10 highest rents in the country remains unchanged. Manhattan is still the most expensive, with apartment rents at $4,119, San Francisco is second, with an average rent of $3,579, and Boston is third, with an average rent of $3,388. San Mateo, CA and Cambridge, MA also have an average rent above $3,000 per month. The cheapest rents of the 252 cities surveyed are in Wichita, Brownsville, and Tulsa, all below $700 per month.

Top 10 Highest Rents in August 2018

CityStateAverage Rent
San FranciscoCA$3,579
San MateoCA$3,249
Santa ClaraCA$2,929
Jersey CityNJ$2,904
San JoseCA$2,758

Top 10 Lowest Rents in August 2018

CityStateAverage Rent
Fort WayneIN$745
Oklahoma CityOK$746

Much of the change in rent prices we see this year is driven by how much demand there is in a specific area and what that area does to deal with it. However, the underlying factors are more complex. The housing market continues to change as a result of the 2007 subprime crisis, according to Doug Ressler, Director of Business Intelligence at Yardi Matrix. We believe that the markets are undergoing a significant change driven by dramatically different demographic trendsTrends vary by market and will be impacted by population aging, population growth, immigration and home ownership trends, says Ressler.

Check out the average price of rent in your city, from Portland to MiamiRaleigh to Cincinnati, by using this interactive table:

CityStateAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
ManhattanNY$4,119 0.00%1.90%
San FranciscoCA$3,579 0.10%3.00%
BostonMA$3,388 0.20%3.70%
San MateoCA$3,249 -0.20%4.90%
CambridgeMA$3,124 0.30%2.60%
SunnyvaleCA$2,952 -0.40%5.50%
Santa ClaraCA$2,929 0.30%6.70%
Jersey CityNJ$2,904 0.10%1.90%
BrooklynNY$2,801 0.00%3.90%
San JoseCA$2,758 -0.10%4.00%
OaklandCA$2,678 -1.30%2.30%
PasadenaCA$2,536 2.70%5.90%
Daly CityCA$2,524 -0.30%7.40%
GlendaleCA$2,472 0.40%4.30%
FremontCA$2,433 -0.20%3.50%
Los AngelesCA$2,395 0.30%4.40%
StamfordCT$2,394 0.00%0.30%
IrvineCA$2,359 0.20%-0.90%
QueensNY$2,342 0.00%8.40%
CarlsbadCA$2,264 0.30%4.40%
BellevueWA$2,219 -0.50%4.20%
BurbankCA$2,208 0.50%1.60%
ArlingtonVA$2,164 0.40%2.60%
San DiegoCA$2,146 0.10%5.00%
WashingtonDC$2,145 0.30%2.10%
HaywardCA$2,096 -0.30%2.70%
Thousand OaksCA$2,088 0.10%0.40%
SeattleWA$2,066 -0.40%2.80%
Costa MesaCA$2,039 0.00%3.20%
Huntington BeachCA$2,017 0.10%1.00%
OrangeCA$2,007 0.10%2.80%
Santa RosaCA$1,990 -0.60%6.00%
Simi ValleyCA$1,961 0.10%4.80%
Long BeachCA$1,959 0.90%4.90%
VenturaCA$1,953 0.20%4.90%
Santa ClaritaCA$1,946 0.90%6.30%
YonkersNY$1,940 0.10%3.40%
ConcordCA$1,929 -0.30%2.00%
ChicagoIL$1,904 0.70%4.20%
Santa AnaCA$1,892 0.20%4.00%
OxnardCA$1,888 -0.40%3.20%
Fort LauderdaleFL$1,887 -0.50%1.70%
BoulderCO$1,881 -0.10%4.10%
TorranceCA$1,875 0.10%4.70%
Rancho CucamongaCA$1,845 0.20%5.40%
FullertonCA$1,844 0.00%2.20%
HonoluluHI$1,843 1.10%
MiramarFL$1,827 -0.20%1.80%
West CovinaCA$1,795 0.60%5.30%
OceansideCA$1,765 0.30%4.50%
VistaCA$1,761 0.00%5.00%
Pembroke PinesFL$1,757 -0.60%3.70%
AnaheimCA$1,750 0.30%3.80%
VallejoCA$1,744 -0.30%2.60%
FairfieldCA$1,741 -0.50%4.60%
DavieFL$1,738 0.30%1.60%
Chula VistaCA$1,726 0.20%4.90%
AlexandriaVA$1,711 0.40%1.90%
OntarioCA$1,704 0.20%7.60%
Garden GroveCA$1,698 0.20%3.00%
Coral SpringsFL$1,690 1.00%3.40%
SalinasCA$1,674 1.30%5.80%
RentonWA$1,664 -0.50%4.10%
CoronaCA$1,660 -0.50%4.00%
MiamiFL$1,651 0.50%3.10%
RosevilleCA$1,637 0.20%0.60%
New HavenCT$1,627 -0.20%0.20%
MurrietaCA$1,616 1.00%3.50%
TemeculaCA$1,604 0.30%3.40%
DenverCO$1,595 -0.30%4.00%
MidlandTX$1,595 -1.10%31.90%
Santa MariaCA$1,571 -0.50%2.80%
EdisonNJ$1,569 0.30%1.60%
EscondidoCA$1,566 0.30%4.70%
MinneapolisMN$1,552 -0.30%4.80%
PhiladelphiaPA$1,549 0.20%2.30%
HillsboroOR$1,548 -0.10%2.20%
PortlandOR$1,503 0.30%3.00%
Ann ArborMI$1,502 0.10%2.50%
El CajonCA$1,502 0.50%4.70%
PomonaCA$1,499 0.90%5.20%
Fort CollinsCO$1,495 -0.70%3.20%
RiversideCA$1,492 0.20%4.70%
LakewoodCO$1,483 -0.30%2.30%
NapervilleIL$1,479 0.10%1.60%
KentWA$1,458 -0.50%3.50%
Moreno ValleyCA$1,453 0.30%5.20%
HollywoodFL$1,446 -0.10%9.20%
WestminsterCO$1,443 -0.20%5.20%
Sandy SpringsGA$1,439 1.10%2.60%
EverettWA$1,419 -0.60%4.00%
West Palm BeachFL$1,408 -0.60%6.40%
AtlantaGA$1,406 1.10%3.80%
OrlandoFL$1,393 0.40%7.70%
ThorntonCO$1,387 -0.40%1.50%
Pompano BeachFL$1,375 -0.10%4.60%
ScottsdaleAZ$1,368 0.10%4.50%
ArvadaCO$1,365 -0.40%4.00%
OdessaTX$1,365 0.70%30.00%
AustinTX$1,349 0.40%2.90%
SacramentoCA$1,342 0.40%5.50%
HialeahFL$1,339 0.40%4.80%
FriscoTX$1,327 -0.20%0.30%
ManchesterNH$1,327 0.50%6.50%
AuroraCO$1,319 -0.50%2.70%
NashvilleTN$1,315 0.00%2.70%
RichardsonTX$1,303 -0.50%-0.60%
CharlestonSC$1,303 0.20%4.10%
EugeneOR$1,302 0.50%4.40%
AuroraIL$1,301 -0.20%2.30%
PearlandTX$1,298 -0.30%2.80%
TempeAZ$1,295 0.20%5.80%
TampaFL$1,287 0.40%6.40%
St. PetersburgFL$1,280 0.30%3.50%
VancouverWA$1,278 0.20%3.40%
PlanoTX$1,274 -0.10%1.40%
LancasterCA$1,274 0.20%9.70%
RialtoCA$1,255 0.30%8.30%
RenoNV$1,253 1.70%11.30%
FontanaCA$1,252 0.10%5.00%
GreshamOR$1,246 0.20%3.10%
BaltimoreMD$1,242 0.10%0.20%
TacomaWA$1,240 0.40%5.40%
McKinneyTX$1,235 -0.10%0.60%
ElizabethNJ$1,225 0.20%3.80%
ChandlerAZ$1,222 0.30%7.20%
PittsburghPA$1,216 0.10%5.20%
MadisonWI$1,213 0.30%1.10%
GainesvilleFL$1,212 0.20%5.40%
HendersonNV$1,207 0.20%6.50%
GilbertAZ$1,206 -0.20%6.70%
HartfordCT$1,204 -0.30%1.00%
San BernardinoCA$1,202 0.10%7.90%
CharlotteNC$1,201 0.50%5.20%
College StationTX$1,188 -1.20%1.00%
Salt Lake CityUT$1,185 1.10%5.90%
CarrolltonTX$1,184 -0.10%3.40%
TallahasseeFL$1,183 -0.70%1.90%
DentonTX$1,183 0.30%2.90%
BrandonFL$1,181 0.10%4.90%
ChesapeakeVA$1,178 0.20%0.90%
DallasTX$1,176 -0.20%3.00%
Round RockTX$1,171 0.60%5.70%
Virginia BeachVA$1,169 0.10%1.40%
NewarkNJ$1,165 -0.20%1.70%
CaryNC$1,164 0.10%2.10%
ClearwaterFL$1,163 0.30%5.20%
ModestoCA$1,161 0.00%4.10%
MilwaukeeWI$1,150 -0.10%3.10%
RaleighNC$1,146 0.00%2.30%
LewisvilleTX$1,145 0.30%4.00%
West JordanUT$1,136 0.00%6.60%
West Valley CityUT$1,130 1.30%7.90%
IrvingTX$1,129 0.30%1.90%
GreeleyCO$1,127 -0.40%6.10%
New OrleansLA$1,121 0.40%2.00%
Colorado SpringsCO$1,118 0.50%4.40%
DurhamNC$1,116 -0.20%3.20%
PeoriaAZ$1,114 0.20%10.10%
StocktonCA$1,110 -0.20%4.70%
MurfreesboroTN$1,095 0.10%3.10%
SyracuseNY$1,095 0.00%3.80%
BoiseID$1,095 -0.10%7.90%
HoustonTX$1,088 -0.10%3.00%
VictorvilleCA$1,071 0.10%5.30%
Fort WorthTX$1,068 0.00%2.90%
SavannahGA$1,067 0.00%4.50%
Grand PrairieTX$1,066 0.00%3.30%
RichmondVA$1,066 0.10%5.30%
WilmingtonNC$1,064 -0.30%2.10%
ClovisCA$1,059 0.00%5.50%
NorfolkVA$1,053 0.10%1.80%
Overland ParkKS$1,053 0.10%2.50%
Baton RougeLA$1,045 -0.60%-0.70%
BuffaloNY$1,044 0.10%1.00%
JacksonvilleFL$1,041 -0.50%4.80%
ClevelandOH$1,036 -0.10%2.90%
LakelandFL$1,029 0.60%5.60%
FresnoCA$1,023 -0.10%5.10%
DetroitMI$1,016 0.10%3.30%
KnoxvilleTN$1,016 0.20%6.50%
ColumbiaSC$1,015 0.00%1.90%
HamptonVA$1,012 0.20%1.00%
RochesterNY$1,011 0.30%3.00%
Las VegasNV$1,011 0.30%6.20%
North Las VegasNV$1,011 0.30%6.60%
North CharlestonSC$1,009 0.50%3.30%
SalemOR$1,008 0.20%4.60%
ArlingtonTX$1,004 0.20%3.80%
GarlandTX$1,003 -0.10%4.20%
San AntonioTX$996-0.10%1.50%
Grand RapidsMI$9870.30%4.10%
Kansas CityMO$974-0.30%3.70%
Corpus ChristiTX$9660.10%2.40%
Newport NewsVA$9280.20%1.60%
Sterling HeightsMI$906-0.30%3.50%
St. LouisMO$902-0.10%1.80%
South BendIN$901-0.20%3.90%
Des MoinesIA$8900.30%1.40%
Broken ArrowOK$8090.20%0.90%
Las CrucesNM$8060.20%3.70%
High PointNC$7890.60%3.70%
Kansas CityKS$788-0.30%4.20%
Little RockAR$7850.00%2.20%
El PasoTX$7660.70%3.00%
Oklahoma CityOK$7460.40%2.30%
Fort WayneIN$7450.10%2.30%

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RentCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.

To compile this report, RentCafe’s research team analyzed rent data across the 252 largest cities in the US. The report is exclusively based on apartment data related to buildings containing 50 or more units. Our report includes cities with populations over 100,000 and a rental stock of at least 2,900 apartments in 50+ unit buildings.

In this report, large cities are cities with a population of 600,000 people or more, mid-sized cities are cities with a population between 300,000 and 600,000, and small cities are cities with a population of less than 300,000.

Rent data was provided by Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors. Rental rate coverage is for Market Rate properties only. Fully Affordable properties are not included in the Yardi Matrix rental surveys and are not reported in rental rate averages.

Starting with the January 2017 rent survey, Yardi Matrix is using a methodology that incorporates more properties into the sample which caused slight changes in overall rents and year-over-year changes compared to the previous reports. We expect this methodology adjustment to produce more accurate averages at the national and metro levels.

*National averages include over 130 markets across the U.S., as reported by Yardi Matrix.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the images in this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

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Nadia Balint is a senior creative writer for RENTCafé. She covers news and trends in residential and commercial real estate and their impact on our everyday life, including rental housing, for-sale housing, real estate development, homeownership, market reports, insurance, landlord-tenant laws, personal finance, urban development, economy, sustainability, and social issues. Nadia holds a B.S. in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. You can connect with Nadia via email.

Nadia’s work and expertise have been quoted by major national and local media outlets, including CNN, CNBC, CBS News, Curbed, The NY Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post as well as industry publications, such as GlobeSt, Bisnow, Inman News, Multifamily Executive, and The Commercial Real Estate Show. Nadia also wrote for Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive, HubSpot, and more. Prior to entering the real estate industry, Nadia worked in the legal field, where she gained over 10 years of experience in business, corporate, and real estate law.

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