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Rental Season Debuts with Increases in Most Large Cities, National Y-o-Y Growth Follows the Trend of the Past 16 Months

Key takeaways:

  • The national average rent was $1,377 in April 2018, having increased by 2.4 percent year over year, and by 0.3 percent ($4) month over month, according to data from Yardi Matrix.
  • Rents increased in 84 percent of the nation’s biggest 250 cities in April, were unchanged in 14 percent of cities, and dropped in 2 percent of cities compared to April 2017
  • The top 20 fastest growing rents in the country are in small cities, including Reno, NV, Boise, ID, and Orlando, FL. 
  • Among the largest U.S. cities, Las Vegas, Denver, and Detroit had the fastest rising prices in April, while rents in New York, Baltimore, and DC stopped rising. 

Rents in all unit sizes pick up steam in April

Increasing demand across the board has caused one, two, and three-bedroom apartment rents to go up by 3.3% compared to prices in April 2017, while studio apartment rents were up by 2.9% year over year. In April 2018, the average rent for a studio apartment in the U.S. was $1,216, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,241. The cost of a two-bedroom apartment was $1,454, and a three-bedroom unit was renting for $1,682 on average.

Bedroom TypeAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
1 Bed$1,2410.3%3.3%
2 Beds$1,4540.3%3.3%
3 Beds$1,6820.4%3.3%

National rents continue previous pattern with a 2.4% annual increase; 5 cities post double-digit growth

RentCafe National Rent Prices March 2018

The national average rent in April saw a 2.4% uptick compared to the same time last year, reaching $1,377/month. Month-over-month, national rents grew by 0.3%, or $4, compared to March, revving up as we approach the start line of 2018’s peak rental season.

The highest annual rent increases in April were in Odessa, TX (up 35.6% y-o-y), Midland, TX (32.6%), followed by Yonkers, NY (11.5%), Reno, NV (10.8%), and newcomer to the top 5 Hollywood, FL (10.6%). The average monthly rent in Odessa is now $1,273, in Midland $1,467, in Yonkers, NY $1,922, in Reno, NV $1,164 and in Hollywood, FL $1,425. Renters in Lancaster, CA, Greeley, CO, and Boise, ID also saw high rent increases above 8%. In total, rents rose in 84% of the nation’s 250 largest cities in April.

Rent prices in Norman, OK, Lubbock, TX, New Orleans, LA, Brownsville, TX, Hillsboro, OR, and Alexandria, VA are down compared to April last year. Many big cities are seeing rents decline or stagnate as well, including New York, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Portland, OR and Austin, TX. The average rent in Austin, TX exceeded $1,300/month in April, in Portland the average apartment rent was $1,454/month, while apartments in Washington, DC cost $2,070/month on average.

No significant fluctuation in prices was noticed in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland, Newark and St. Louis, where apartment rents grew slower than 2% over the year, although that may change in the upcoming months as activity starts to pick up.

Large cities: Las Vegas, Denver, Detroit apartments see highest price jumps

Rent Cafe Rent Prices Large Cities March 2018

With a 6% increase over the year, Las Vegas rents rose the most among the largest U.S. cities, reaching $979/month in April, as the local housing market is rebounding. Denver remains one of the hottest cities for renters in the U.S., with apartments renting for $1,559/month, 5.8% more expensive than they were one year prior. Rental housing in Detroit is making a comeback after years in the slump. Apartments in Detroit saw the third highest yearly increase in prices among big cities, 5.4%, reaching just $1,015/month, still well below the national average.

Also poised for an active rental season are Phoenix and San Diego, with 5% and 4.6% year-over-year increases in April. Jacksonville, Charlotte, Los Angeles and Houston apartment rents rose by more than 4%, while Columbus, Fort Worth, Dallas and Seattle rents were more moderate, between 3-4%.

Rents in Brooklyn and Manhattan apartments continue sliding, by -1% and -0.2%, with the average price in Manhattan $4,063/month and in Brooklyn $2,688. Meanwhile, Baltimore apartments stagnate around $1,200/month, as the market is cooling down. Monthly rents in DC, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, El Paso and Oklahoma City have been steady for the month, growing by less than 1.5%.

Mid-size cities: Sacramento rents cool down but still lead

Mid-size Cities RentCafe National Rent Prices March 2018

If the price of rent in Sacramento was growing by 7.2% as of last month, it cooled down to 6% in April, still the highest year over year increase among mid-sized cities, stopping just shy of $1,300/month. Stockton, CA’s more affordable rental housing is also heated, with a year over year growth of 5.8%, and an average rent $1,100 per month, which is low by California standards.

Tampa, FL renters are also feeling the heat before the start of the summer, with rent increases of 5.7% over the year and a monthly average rent that’s starting to rival Southeast Florida prices, at $1,254. Central California’s Fresno saw a 5.1% jump in rents in April, breaking the $1,000/month mark. Rents for apartments in Kansas City, MO and Arlington, TX increased by 5%, while Minneapolis, Oakland, Atlanta and Miami saw more moderate increases.

At the other end of the spectrum are New Orleans, Tulsa, Wichita, Virginia Beach and Raleigh, where rents are growing the slowest in the mid-size city category. The average rent in New Orleans was $1,088 in April, in Virginia Beach, $1,183, and in Raleigh $1,112.

Small cities see the top 20 most sizeable rent increases in April

Small Cities RentCafe National Rent Prices March 2018

At the top of the list reigns the Midland-Odessa area, with prices up by 35.6% and 32.6% year over year. Odessa apartments now cost $1,273 on average, while Midland rents cost $1,467/month. Yonkers, NY rents have been skyrocketing over the last few months, growing again by 11.5% over the year, approaching the $2,000 mark. Renters in Reno continue to struggle with a 10.8% annual increase, now paying $1,164/month on average. Apartments in Hollywood, FL are seeing an uptick in demand, pushing rents in the small town located south of Fort Lauderdale up by 10.6%, reaching $1,425/month in April, from $1,288 one year ago.

At the bottom of the list sit Norman, OK (-2.5%), Lubbock, TX (-2.5%, less than last month’s -4.3% decrease), Brownsville, TX (-1.7%), Hillsboro, OR (-1.6%), and Alexandria, VA (-1.1%). Rents were sluggish in Baton Rouge, LA, Bellevue, WA, Mobile, AL, Hampton, VA, and College Station, TX. Moderate increases of about 3% were seen around the country in Durham, NC, Spokane, WA, Burbank, CA, Augusta, GA, and Wilmington, DE, to name a few.

Top 10 Lowest Rents in April 2018

CityStateAverage Rent
Oklahoma CityOK$729
Fort WayneIN$741

Top 10 Highest Rents in April 2018

CityStateAverage Rent
San FranciscoCA$3,442
San MateoCA$3,160
Jersey CityNJ$2,841
Santa ClaraCA$2,782
San JoseCA$2,669

Manhattan, NYC has the most expensive rents in the country, with an average rent of $4,063 as of April. San Francisco is the second most expensive for renters, with apartments going for $3,442/month on average. Renting in Boston, MA is the third most expensive in the U.S, at $3,255 per month. Also in the top 10 priciest cities for renting are San Mateo, CA, Cambridge, MA, Jersey City, NJ, Sunnyvale, CA, Santa Clara, CA, Brooklyn, NY and San Jose, CA.

Apartments in Wichita are the cheapest of the 250 cities surveyed in April, with an average rent of $633/month, increasing just 1% year over year. The second most affordable is Tulsa, OK, with an average rent of $668, only 0.5% more than the previous year, followed by Brownsville, TX where apartments cost $685 on average, after a decline of -1.7% year over year. Also among the 10 most affordable cities for renters are Toledo, OH, Killeen, TX, Independence, MO, Amarillo, TX, Dayton, OH, Oklahoma City, OK and Fort Wayne, IN, all with prices under $750/month.

Doug Ressler, Yardi Matrix Director of Business Intelligence, weighed in on the key drivers in the current rental market:

Housing supply, rent stabilization, and affordable rents are of critical interest nationwide. In California growing financial pressure on tenants is driving a statewide initiative for a November referendum to lift California’s limits on rent control known as Costa Hawkins. Continued rent activity is expected specifically in 22 states and the District of Columbia which have built too little housing to keep up with economic growth in the 15 years since 2000, and have resulted in a total shortage of 7.3 million units, based on research by Up for Growth National Coalition. A key driver in the changing rental markets will be the individual or families’ cost of living and the percentage required for housing.

Check out the average price of rent in your city by using this interactive table:

CityStateAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
Manhattan (New York City)NY$4,063 0.00%-0.20%
San FranciscoCA$3,442 -0.10%1.10%
BostonMA$3,255 0.30%2.00%
San MateoCA$3,160 0.40%3.00%
CambridgeMA$3,020 0.10%1.00%
Jersey CityNJ$2,841 0.70%1.20%
SunnyvaleCA$2,805 1.10%3.00%
Santa ClaraCA$2,782 1.10%3.50%
Brooklyn (New York City)NY$2,688 0.00%-1.00%
San JoseCA$2,669 1.30%2.70%
OaklandCA$2,600 0.00%2.90%
PasadenaCA$2,444 2.90%5.30%
GlendaleCA$2,424 0.10%2.90%
StamfordCT$2,385 1.00%0.40%
Daly CityCA$2,379 0.30%3.80%
IrvineCA$2,374 0.60%2.00%
FremontCA$2,347 0.80%1.80%
Los AngelesCA$2,326 -0.10%4.20%
CarlsbadCA$2,210 0.50%4.00%
BurbankCA$2,144 0.10%3.20%
BellevueWA$2,107 0.30%-0.80%
San DiegoCA$2,082 0.60%4.60%
ArlingtonVA$2,075 0.80%-0.50%
WashingtonDC$2,070 -0.30%0.70%
HaywardCA$2,046 0.10%3.20%
Thousand OaksCA$2,032 0.50%-0.60%
Huntington BeachCA$2,008 0.60%2.90%
Costa MesaCA$2,007 0.60%2.70%
SeattleWA$2,001 0.20%3.30%
OrangeCA$1,983 0.40%2.50%
YonkersNY$1,922 0.90%11.50%
Santa RosaCA$1,908 0.60%6.50%
VenturaCA$1,901 0.30%4.80%
Long BeachCA$1,897 0.40%3.80%
Santa ClaritaCA$1,891 -0.10%4.90%
Simi ValleyCA$1,888 0.60%4.50%
ConcordCA$1,886 0.70%2.20%
BoulderCO$1,869 0.90%6.70%
Santa AnaCA$1,862 0.50%3.70%
Fort LauderdaleFL$1,849 -0.50%4.20%
OxnardCA$1,840 0.30%2.10%
ChicagoIL$1,834 0.90%1.70%
TorranceCA$1,824 -0.10%5.30%
FullertonCA$1,817 0.50%3.30%
MiramarFL$1,784 -0.10%0.60%
Rancho CucamongaCA$1,775 0.20%3.20%
West CovinaCA$1,762 1.30%6.40%
AnaheimCA$1,746 0.70%4.20%
OceansideCA$1,730 0.90%4.60%
VistaCA$1,723 1.40%4.90%
DavieFL$1,711 -0.10%0.90%
VallejoCA$1,703 0.30%4.00%
FairfieldCA$1,696 0.10%5.30%
Chula VistaCA$1,674 0.80%4.80%
OntarioCA$1,671 -0.10%7.10%
Garden GroveCA$1,666 0.20%2.60%
Coral SpringsFL$1,666 0.10%0.70%
AlexandriaVA$1,657 0.20%-1.10%
Pembroke PinesFL$1,656 -0.80%-0.60%
New HavenCT$1,645 0.90%3.20%
CoronaCA$1,634 -1.00%5.30%
SalinasCA$1,632 1.00%6.50%
MiamiFL$1,616 0.00%2.10%
MurrietaCA$1,592 0.20%4.00%
RentonWA$1,590 0.60%2.40%
TemeculaCA$1,574 0.10%3.30%
EdisonNJ$1,568 0.40%4.10%
RosevilleCA$1,568 -0.20%1.40%
DenverCO$1,559 0.90%5.80%
EscondidoCA$1,554 0.80%6.90%
Santa MariaCA$1,527 1.00%4.20%
PhiladelphiaPA$1,522 -0.50%1.50%
MinneapolisMN$1,509 -0.10%3.10%
Fort CollinsCO$1,494 0.70%7.70%
Ann ArborMI$1,477 0.00%3.60%
MidlandTX$1,467 5.20%32.60%
PomonaCA$1,458 0.50%2.50%
El CajonCA$1,455 0.20%4.10%
PortlandOR$1,454 0.10%0.80%
HillsboroOR$1,454 0.80%-1.60%
RiversideCA$1,447 0.10%3.70%
Sandy SpringsGA$1,446 0.70%5.30%
LakewoodCO$1,443 1.00%2.60%
NapervilleIL$1,443 1.50%1.00%
KentWA$1,427 0.10%4.80%
HollywoodFL$1,425 0.00%10.60%
WestminsterCO$1,411 1.10%4.80%
Moreno ValleyCA$1,401 -0.10%3.90%
West Palm BeachFL$1,394 1.30%5.40%
ScottsdaleAZ$1,371 0.10%6.10%
AtlantaGA$1,366 0.00%2.90%
ThorntonCO$1,353 1.30%1.90%
EverettWA$1,352 0.40%2.30%
Pompano BeachFL$1,344 1.50%2.90%
ArvadaCO$1,341 1.00%3.80%
OrlandoFL$1,340 0.10%6.80%
FriscoTX$1,325 0.80%1.70%
PearlandTX$1,312 0.40%3.10%
AustinTX$1,302 0.30%0.90%
SacramentoCA$1,299 0.10%6.00%
RichardsonTX$1,299 0.50%-0.50%
NashvilleTN$1,289 0.30%2.50%
AuroraCO$1,288 0.80%3.60%
AuroraIL$1,278 0.50%0.80%
CharlestonSC$1,275 0.50%2.90%
OdessaTX$1,273 4.10%35.60%
HialeahFL$1,272 0.00%2.50%
PlanoTX$1,270 1.30%2.30%
TempeAZ$1,269 0.20%5.20%
EugeneOR$1,262 0.90%4.00%
ManchesterNH$1,259 -0.20%1.90%
St. PetersburgFL$1,256 0.20%6.30%
TampaFL$1,254 0.60%5.70%
VancouverWA$1,253 0.40%4.20%
FontanaCA$1,241 -0.20%5.60%
LancasterCA$1,224 0.60%9.00%
BaltimoreMD$1,224 -0.20%0.60%
McKinneyTX$1,222 1.30%1.80%
GreshamOR$1,216 0.70%2.60%
ElizabethNJ$1,209 -0.10%7.80%
RialtoCA$1,208 -0.20%7.20%
College StationTX$1,207 -0.60%-0.70%
MadisonWI$1,206 0.20%0.70%
TacomaWA$1,201 -0.60%6.30%
HartfordCT$1,200 1.10%1.00%
GainesvilleFL$1,191 0.50%5.20%
TallahasseeFL$1,182 0.10%3.10%
DentonTX$1,174 0.30%3.70%
ChandlerAZ$1,171 -0.10%5.80%
ModestoCA$1,165 0.70%7.40%
RenoNV$1,164 1.70%10.80%
CharlotteNC$1,162 0.30%4.40%
HendersonNV$1,158 0.30%5.30%
PittsburghPA$1,158 0.30%2.40%
NewarkNJ$1,157 -0.50%1.90%
ChesapeakeVA$1,157 -0.30%0.70%
CarrolltonTX$1,156 0.70%2.10%
GilbertAZ$1,154 0.00%5.20%
DallasTX$1,154 0.70%3.30%
BrandonFL$1,150 0.10%5.60%
ClearwaterFL$1,141 0.40%4.80%
San BernardinoCA$1,141 0.20%4.70%
Virginia BeachVA$1,138 -0.30%1.00%
Salt Lake CityUT$1,137 1.30%4.30%
MilwaukeeWI$1,126 0.40%2.60%
CaryNC$1,126 -0.20%0.70%
LewisvilleTX$1,116 0.60%1.40%
IrvingTX$1,114 0.40%3.40%
RaleighNC$1,112 0.00%1.10%
Round RockTX$1,111 0.20%2.00%
West JordanUT$1,108 1.20%5.10%
StocktonCA$1,100 0.80%5.80%
SyracuseNY$1,094 0.60%3.80%
Colorado SpringsCO$1,093 1.10%5.60%
GreeleyCO$1,092 1.10%8.40%
New OrleansLA$1,088 -0.10%-2.20%
HoustonTX$1,085 0.30%4.00%
DurhamNC$1,079 0.40%3.00%
MurfreesboroTN$1,074 0.10%3.80%
West Valley CityUT$1,073 -0.10%3.90%
PeoriaAZ$1,070 -0.40%7.00%
WilmingtonNC$1,064 0.90%3.60%
BoiseID$1,056 1.20%8.30%
Baton RougeLA$1,055 0.50%-0.80%
ClovisCA$1,053 0.80%6.70%
Overland ParkKS$1,050 0.20%3.60%
Fort WorthTX$1,049 0.60%3.80%
VictorvilleCA$1,038 -0.10%6.20%
Grand PrairieTX$1,035 0.50%4.10%
NorfolkVA$1,035 -0.30%2.50%
BuffaloNY$1,033 0.30%1.90%
SavannahGA$1,031 1.00%4.00%
RichmondVA$1,027 -0.30%3.70%
DetroitMI$1,015 0.80%5.40%
LakelandFL$1,013 1.00%7.30%
ClevelandOH$1,011 0.10%1.70%
JacksonFL$1,008 -0.10%4.50%
North CharlestonSC$1,007 2.70%3.70%
ColumbiaSC$1,003 0.80%2.80%
FresnoCA$1,001 0.70%5.10%
San AntonioTX$9890.50%2.20%
North Las VegasNV$9870.40%7.80%
Las VegasNV$9790.40%6.00%
Kansas CityMO$9650.30%5.00%
Corpus ChristiTX$9620.10%2.60%
Grand RapidsMI$9600.30%3.30%
Newport NewsVA$911-0.30%0.60%
South BendIN$8960.20%3.10%
St. LouisMO$8920.10%1.70%
Sterling HeightsMI$8870.70%4.10%
Des MoinesIA$8800.80%1.30%
Las CrucesNM$7980.10%3.60%
Broken ArrowOK$798-0.30%1.30%
Little RockAR$7780.60%1.40%
High PointNC$7760.50%4.20%
Kansas CityKS$7630.40%0.70%
El PasoTX$7430.30%1.20%
Fort WayneIN$7410.50%5.00%
Oklahoma CityOK$729-0.30%1.40%
Correction (May 9, 2018): The national average year-over-year rent growth figure has been updated since the release of this report.


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 250 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 130 markets across the U.S., as reported by Yardi Matrix.


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Nadia Balint
Nadia Balint
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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