Apartment Rent Report Real Estate News Rental Market

Same Trend, Different Year: January Brings Further Rent Increases, Fueled by Demand

Key takeaways:

  • The national average rent was $1,361 in January 2018, 2.8 percent higher than this time last year, and flat month over month, according to data from Yardi Matrix.
  • 89 percent of the nation’s biggest cities have seen rents grow in January, in 9 percent of cities rents remained unchanged, while only 2 percent experienced rent drops compared to 2017. 
  • America’s smaller cities are continuing to see the greatest increases, with Gilbert, AZ (8.5%), Roseville, CA (8.5%), and Fort Collins, CO (7.9%) breaking the top 10. 

The price of apartments has gone up in 89% of the nation’s 250 largest cities in January 2018, as demand for rentals remains elevated throughout the country, sustained by an improving economy and low unemployment. Renters continue to embrace apartment life, as rent prices are increasing at a strong and steady annual rate of 2.8%, nationwide, reaching $1,361/month in January 2018.

The price of two-bedroom units is increasing the fastest

One and two-bedroom apartments remain the most in-demand apartment sizes in the U.S. The price of two-bedroom rentals has climbed the most over the year, with a 3.5% increase in rates, exceeding $1,400/month on average, while the price for one-bedroom units has increased by 3.4%, renting for $1,225/month on average in January. The slowest growing apartment type in January were studio apartments, renting for 2.5% more than this time last year.

Bedroom TypeAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
Studio$1,2590.2%2.5%
1 Bed$1,2250.1%3.4%
2 Beds$1,4080.1%3.5%
3 Beds$1,6440.2%3.2%

Rents in 6 cities, including Brooklyn, NY, continue to slide

In only six cities out of the 250 studied are rents cheaper than they were one year ago. With a large new inventory of apartments to fill, the rental market in Lubbock, TX has seen the biggest drop in prices year over year, -6.3%, with an average apartment now renting for less than $900/month. Norman, OK is also seeing a slight decrease in the average rent (-2.3%), as a result of thousands of new apartments hitting the market in just the past few years, with an average rent of $861/month as of January 2018.

Diminished demand for housing has affected prices in McAllen, TX, which have declined by -2.2% year-over-year. Rents in Kansas City, KS and Baton Rouge, LA are also sliding slightly this month, by less than 2%. The only large market to see a decrease in rents is Brooklyn, NY, which had wrapped up last year -1.7% below the previous year’s levels, maintaining the downward direction in January as well, with rents down by -1.1% year over year.

U.S. Cities Where Rents Decreased Y-o-Y in January 2018

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
1LubbockTX-6.3%$897
2NormanOK-2.3%$861
3McAllenTX-2.2%$749
4Kansas CityKS-1.7%$756
5Baton RougeLA-1.2%$1,045
6BrooklynNY-1.1%$2,692

Three new cities break the top 10 with greatest rent increases

At the beginning of the year, we have three new cities entering the top 10 for fastest growing rents in the U.S. Fueled by increasing demand, Gilbert, AZ (8.5%), Roseville, CA (8.5%) and Fort Collins, CO (7.9%) saw big rent bumps over the past year. Rental prices in Gilbert, AZ are rising fast, clocking in at $1,156/month in January, as its population has been growing at extremely high rates, demand for housing has skyrocketed, and a big portion of the Gilbert population is renting.

Sacramento Metropolitan Area’s City of Roseville is joining Sacramento — where apartment prices have been on a steep climb for a while now — as one of the top 10 cities in the country with the fastest rising rents. The price of apartments in Roseville, CA has jumped by as much as 8.5% year-over-year, with the average rent currently exceeding $1,600/month. Fort Collins, CO has also become one of the country’s fastest growing rental markets, with residents and Colorado State students competing for a limited number of rental apartments. Rates are up almost 8% from the same time last year, a Fort Collins rental apartment costing on average $1,436/month at the moment.

Oil centers Odessa and Midland, TX are still at the top of the list with the highest rent rebounds over the year, 35% and 31.4% respectively. Buffalo, NY (12.1%) and Lancaster, CA (10.2%) also struggling with double-digit price hikes year-over-year.

U.S. Cities with the Fastest Growing Rents in January 2018

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
1OdessaTX35.0%$1,153
2MidlandTX31.4%$1,303
3BuffaloNY12.1%$1,032
4LancasterCA10.2%$1,175
5RenoNV9.6%$1,120
6St. PetersburgFL9.3%$1,265
7GilbertAZ8.5%$1,156
8RosevilleCA8.5%$1,603
9SacramentoCA8.5%$1,287
10Fort CollinsCO7.9%$1,436

The most expensive California rents push the limits again in January

The priciest cities for renters remain big urban job centers on both coasts, with Manhattan, NY at the top of the list with an average apartment rent of $4,079, unchanged from the previous month and down slightly by -1% over the year.

If renters living in The Golden State where hoping for a respite from high rents in the new year, they’re not getting it yet. Prices went up again in January in all 5 California cities in the top 10 most expensive for renters, with the highest rates in the state being in San Francisco, $3,448/month. Jersey City apartments, the sixth most expensive in the U.S., also saw increased rates this month, reaching $2,855.

Wichita, KS, Tulsa, OK, and Toledo, OH remain the country’s top 3 most affordable cities for renters, alongside 7 other Midwestern and Texan towns where average rents do not exceed $730/month, a fraction of the prices in coastal cities. In fact, things have been quiet in these parts of the country, as rents remained flat or grew slower than the national average in 9 out of 10 cities. Fort Wayne, IN was the only one to see a significant jump in prices for the year, 4.5%.

Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents - January 2018

CityStateAverage Rent
ManhattanNY$4,079
San FranciscoCA$3,448
BostonMA$3,243
San MateoCA$3,064
CambridgeMA$3,023
Jersey CityNJ$2,855
SunnyvaleCA$2,764
Santa ClaraCA$2,718
BrooklynNY$2,692
San JoseCA$2,627

Top 10 Cities with the Lowest Rents - January 2018

CityStateAverage Rent
WichitaKS$632
TulsaOK$672
ToledoOH$674
BrownsvilleTX$691
KilleenTX$701
IndependenceMO$720
DaytonOH$720
AmarilloTX$726
Fort WayneIN$727
Oklahoma CityOK$727

At the start of the new year, rents are expected to continue rising throughout the country slightly above inflation, as demand for apartments remains strong from all generations of renters. Doug Ressler, senior analyst at Yardi Matrix, offered his opinion as to what renters can expect as we begin a new year:

“Going forward, the major issues facing the U.S. housing market will concern population shifts and affordability. As affordability becomes a critical issue, renters can expect property managers to attract their interest via unique services or amenities. Property managers will actively target specific segments of renters through amenities and concessions based on the market and submarket demographics.”


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$4,0790.0%-1.0%
San FranciscoCA$3,4480.6%2.4%
BostonMA$3,243-0.2%2.4%
San MateoCA$3,0640.5%2.9%
CambridgeMA$3,023-0.1%2.3%
Jersey CityNJ$2,8550.8%2.7%
SunnyvaleCA$2,7640.9%5.3%
Santa ClaraCA$2,7180.8%3.2%
Brooklyn (New York City)NY$2,6920.0%-1.1%
San JoseCA$2,6270.2%3.3%
OaklandCA$2,517-0.8%2.7%
Daly CityCA$2,4980.4%3.3%
IrvineCA$2,3920.3%4.0%
StamfordCT$2,3910.4%1.7%
GlendaleCA$2,3880.2%2.6%
PasadenaCA$2,3680.2%2.4%
FremontCA$2,328-0.5%1.7%
Los AngelesCA$2,2930.2%4.6%
BurbankCA$2,206-0.2%6.4%
CarlsbadCA$2,1930.4%6.4%
WashingtonDC$2,0870.0%2.4%
ArlingtonVA$2,076-0.1%0.1%
San DiegoCA$2,0710.0%6.2%
BellevueWA$2,0640.2%0.8%
Thousand OaksCA$2,0520.0%4.9%
HaywardCA$2,032-0.6%3.4%
Huntington BeachCA$2,0130.4%4.2%
Costa MesaCA$2,0060.6%3.6%
SeattleWA$1,9720.0%5.1%
OrangeCA$1,9610.3%3.3%
Simi ValleyCA$1,9040.0%4.6%
YonkersNY$1,903-0.1%7.2%
ConcordCA$1,881-0.7%2.5%
VenturaCA$1,8690.0%5.8%
Santa RosaCA$1,8610.5%6.0%
Long BeachCA$1,8600.0%2.4%
Fort LauderdaleFL$1,8470.5%5.4%
BoulderCO$1,8340.4%6.1%
OxnardCA$1,8330.4%3.8%
Santa AnaCA$1,8300.1%3.7%
Santa ClaritaCA$1,8210.0%2.6%
FullertonCA$1,809-0.2%3.1%
MiramarFL$1,805-0.4%4.3%
ChicagoIL$1,7980.8%3.2%
TorranceCA$1,7800.5%5.0%
Rancho CucamongaCA$1,741-0.2%3.0%
AnaheimCA$1,7340.5%4.8%
West CovinaCA$1,703-0.5%5.6%
VallejoCA$1,699-0.2%5.8%
VistaCA$1,6990.8%4.9%
OceansideCA$1,693-0.1%4.8%
FairfieldCA$1,666-0.5%7.6%
Coral SpringsFL$1,6651.4%2.2%
DavieFL$1,6620.0%0.1%
AlexandriaVA$1,6520.1%-0.2%
Chula VistaCA$1,6500.0%5.4%
Garden GroveCA$1,6430.0%3.5%
New HavenCT$1,6350.1%5.5%
Pembroke PinesFL$1,6280.1%1.9%
MiamiFL$1,608-0.1%2.4%
RosevilleCA$1,6030.4%8.5%
CoronaCA$1,601-1.0%4.2%
MurrietaCA$1,578-0.6%4.4%
SalinasCA$1,5751.0%7.9%
OntarioCA$1,573-0.3%1.7%
RentonWA$1,5720.1%5.2%
TemeculaCA$1,565-0.3%4.0%
EdisonNJ$1,559-0.4%3.5%
DenverCO$1,5310.1%5.7%
Santa MariaCA$1,516-0.3%5.7%
EscondidoCA$1,5110.3%5.3%
PhiladelphiaPA$1,5050.3%2.7%
MinneapolisMN$1,4850.3%3.3%
Ann ArborMI$1,4720.3%5.1%
HillsboroOR$1,4580.0%0.3%
Fort CollinsCO$1,4360.1%7.9%
RiversideCA$1,432-0.6%5.1%
PortlandOR$1,4320.4%-0.1%
El CajonCA$1,431-0.2%3.4%
NapervilleIL$1,429-0.2%1.9%
LakewoodCO$1,4230.1%5.6%
PomonaCA$1,4130.2%0.9%
KentWA$1,3870.5%6.0%
Sandy SpringsGA$1,3870.2%3.3%
Moreno ValleyCA$1,380-0.2%3.7%
WestminsterCO$1,3770.0%5.0%
West Palm BeachFL$1,3691.2%6.2%
Pompano BeachFL$1,3590.1%5.4%
ThorntonCO$1,3530.1%5.5%
AtlantaGA$1,3450.1%2.9%
EverettWA$1,3440.0%4.2%
FriscoTX$1,331-0.2%3.4%
ScottsdaleAZ$1,3300.8%4.5%
ArvadaCO$1,3180.1%7.2%
RichardsonTX$1,318-0.1%2.3%
HollywoodFL$1,3170.4%1.2%
OrlandoFL$1,3130.1%6.3%
MidlandTX$1,3030.4%31.4%
AustinTX$1,299-0.5%0.9%
SacramentoCA$1,287-0.5%8.5%
AuroraCO$1,2810.1%5.6%
PearlandTX$1,2810.4%1.4%
AuroraIL$1,274-0.2%2.2%
NashvilleTN$1,2680.4%1.8%
St. PetersburgFL$1,2650.6%9.3%
HialeahFL$1,2630.1%3.2%
EugeneOR$1,255-0.2%4.8%
PlanoTX$1,254-0.1%2.3%
ManchesterNH$1,246-0.2%2.1%
TempeAZ$1,2450.4%4.4%
CharlestonSC$1,2330.7%-0.1%
VancouverWA$1,2310.3%4.1%
TampaFL$1,2300.6%5.3%
BaltimoreMD$1,2300.0%3.4%
McKinneyTX$1,217-0.1%2.7%
FontanaCA$1,210-0.6%4.8%
GreshamOR$1,2080.2%3.2%
College StationTX$1,2050.1%-0.9%
ElizabethNJ$1,1931.1%6.7%
HartfordCT$1,1910.0%1.7%
MadisonWI$1,188-0.1%0.8%
RialtoCA$1,186-0.3%4.1%
TacomaWA$1,1810.3%5.9%
LancasterCA$1,1750.6%10.2%
ChesapeakeVA$1,1700.6%3.6%
ChandlerAZ$1,1680.4%6.4%
GainesvilleFL$1,1660.4%4.8%
NewarkNJ$1,1620.8%2.7%
Virginia BeachVA$1,1570.4%3.0%
GilbertAZ$1,1560.4%8.5%
DentonTX$1,154-0.2%2.9%
OdessaTX$1,1531.6%35.0%
ModestoCA$1,1500.3%7.2%
HendersonNV$1,149-0.3%6.1%
DallasTX$1,146-0.3%4.2%
TallahasseeFL$1,146-0.3%2.0%
CharlotteNC$1,1450.3%4.0%
CaryNC$1,1450.4%3.7%
PittsburghPA$1,1420.0%1.2%
BrandonFL$1,1400.9%5.0%
CarrolltonTX$1,132-0.4%1.4%
San BernardinoCA$1,123-0.4%5.1%
RenoNV$1,1200.3%9.6%
Salt Lake CityUT$1,1180.2%5.2%
RaleighNC$1,118-0.1%3.6%
Round RockTX$1,117-0.6%2.1%
MilwaukeeWI$1,1110.5%2.8%
ClearwaterFL$1,1090.6%3.0%
IrvingTX$1,104-0.4%4.2%
New OrleansLA$1,0960.5%0.3%
LewisvilleTX$1,092-0.4%0.7%
StocktonCA$1,0870.1%7.5%
DurhamNC$1,077-0.4%4.1%
Colorado SpringsCO$1,0740.1%6.4%
SyracuseNY$1,074-0.4%3.3%
HoustonTX$1,0730.1%3.4%
West JordanUT$1,0700.1%4.0%
MurfreesboroTN$1,0660.7%3.2%
GreeleyCO$1,065-0.1%7.5%
West Valley CityUT$1,051-0.3%1.7%
Fort WorthTX$1,0480.3%5.2%
Baton RougeLA$1,0450.0%-1.2%
Overland ParkKS$1,0420.2%2.4%
WilmingtonNC$1,040-1.0%2.1%
Grand PrairieTX$1,0370.2%6.7%
PeoriaAZ$1,0360.8%6.1%
BoiseID$1,0330.1%7.6%
NorfolkVA$1,0330.4%2.8%
BuffaloNY$1,0321.1%12.1%
VictorvilleCA$1,031-0.5%6.6%
ClovisCA$1,0250.0%4.8%
SavannahGA$1,0210.5%3.9%
DetroitMI$1,0201.6%7.6%
RichmondVA$1,0160.3%4.5%
ClevelandOH$1,011-0.1%3.9%
ColumbiaSC$1,0010.1%4.2%
HamptonVA$9950.3%2.7%
JacksonvilleFL$9940.0%5.0%
LakelandFL$9870.8%5.1%
FresnoCA$982-0.2%5.4%
San AntonioTX$9800.1%2.0%
RochesterNY$979-0.2%2.3%
GarlandTX$978-0.2%6.3%
North CharlestonSC$9720.4%3.0%
SalemOR$970-0.3%6.2%
ArlingtonTX$9690.3%6.3%
Corpus ChristiTX$965-0.6%2.3%
North Las VegasNV$964-0.1%7.2%
Las VegasNV$9630.0%6.6%
KnoxvilleTN$9630.4%3.4%
Grand RapidsMI$9620.0%4.7%
WacoTX$958-0.2%0.4%
Kansas CityMO$9440.1%3.2%
PhoenixAZ$9410.6%5.1%
CincinnatiOH$9410.4%3.2%
BakersfieldCA$9320.0%1.6%
BirminghamAL$9300.2%3.8%
MesquiteTX$924-0.5%3.0%
LincolnNE$9150.2%1.9%
ChattanoogaTN$9140.8%3.3%
WaterburyCT$914-0.2%2.1%
SpokaneWA$9040.4%7.1%
Newport NewsVA$9020.4%0.9%
MetairieLA$9000.4%2.7%
LubbockTX$897-0.3%-6.3%
MesaAZ$8960.4%4.4%
Sterling HeightsMI$8900.5%6.0%
LouisvilleKY$8900.2%2.4%
OlatheKS$8870.0%1.0%
South BendIN$884-0.2%2.4%
ColumbusOH$8810.3%5.3%
LexingtonKY$8780.6%2.7%
St. LouisMO$876-0.3%2.1%
OmahaNE$8740.0%2.8%
Des MoinesIA$8710.6%6.2%
GlendaleAZ$8670.5%5.3%
NormanOK$861-0.3%-2.3%
PasadenaTX$8520.5%4.5%
GreensboroNC$8440.6%4.3%
AlbuquerqueNM$841-0.4%3.2%
ColumbusGA$8320.6%0.7%
ParadiseNV$8240.1%4.6%
AkronOH$816-0.2%1.1%
IndianapolisIN$814-0.2%2.5%
Broken ArrowOK$798-0.7%0.3%
TucsonAZ$796-0.4%3.8%
Winston-SalemNC$7950.4%5.6%
Las CrucesNM$7910.6%1.4%
MaconGA$7840.4%4.4%
MobileAL$778-0.1%0.9%
WarrenMI$7770.8%3.6%
LansingMI$776-0.1%2.4%
Little RockAR$7680.5%1.1%
AugustaGA$763-0.1%2.1%
High PointNC$7611.7%3.3%
JacksonMS$757-0.3%3.6%
Kansas CityKS$7560.4%-1.7%
McAllenTX$749-1.4%-2.2%
El PasoTX$744-0.3%1.2%
MemphisTN$7420.1%2.5%
Fort WayneIN$7270.1%4.5%
Oklahoma CityOK$727-0.1%0.8%
AmarilloTX$7260.1%-0.5%
IndependenceMO$7200.1%2.4%
DaytonOH$720-0.1%2.0%
KilleenTX$7010.1%2.0%
BrownsvilleTX$6910.1%1.8%
ToledoOH$674-0.1%1.8%
TulsaOK$672-0.4%1.4%
WichitaKS$632-0.2%2.1%

About RENTCafé and How We Compiled the Data

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.

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 124 markets across the US, as reported by Yardi Matrix.

About the author

Nadia Balint

Nadia Balint is a senior marketing writer for RENTCafé. She writes about trends in U.S. real estate and their impact on our everyday life. You can get in touch with Nadia via email: nadia.balint@yardi.com.

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