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Despite National Slowdown, Rents in Midland, Buffalo Reach New Highs in July

Key takeaways:

  • Average rents hits $1,350 for the month of July, rising just $1 – or 0.1% – since June, according to Yardi Matrix.
  • Texas leads the nation in terms of rent growth, with Midland and Odessa claiming the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. The Lone Star State’s Lubbock, however, saw the nation’s biggest dip, with rents dropping 3.1% over the year.
  • A whopping 84% of America’s 250 biggest cities experienced rent growth. Just 30 cities saw rents flat-line, while 10 cities had rents decreases.
  • Manhattan again took the title of most expensive market in the nation. This may not last due to an influx of new apartment units.

Rents are still steadily climbing across the country, but that growth is finally slowing – and in a big way. In July, national rents grew a meager 0.1% over the month and just 2.6% from the same period in 2016, according to recent data from Yardi Matrix.

This national slowdown is thanks, in large part, to the huge influx of new apartments that has hit the scene in the past year – as well as the thousands more expected by the end of 2017. This year is expected to mark the biggest jump in apartment construction in the last two decades, with nearly 347,000 new units entering the market – a 21% increase over last year’s numbers.

But while rents are certainly slowing – and construction is indeed playing its part – the impact isn’t sweeping. In fact, 64% of the new supply is limited to the nation’s top 20 metro areas, leaving many cities – as well as their outlying suburbs – with low supply, high demand and even higher rents. Cities like Midland, TX and Odessa, TX, and Buffalo, NY, will need more attention from developers if rents are to cool in the area anytime soon.



No Matter the Size, Rents Remain Stable

Rents remained fairly stable on all sized properties, with studio-, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments inching up just $1 for the month – to $1,243, $1,213, $1,397 and $1,630, respectively.

Month over month, studios saw the biggest growth, rising 0.2% since June, while two-bedroom units experienced the largest annual growth, with rents jumping 2.9% over the year. One bedrooms rose 2.8% in the last 12 months, three-bedroom rents grew 2.6%, and studios rose the least, increasing just 1.9%.

Bedroom TypeAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
1 Bed$1,2130.0%2.8%
2 Beds$1,3970.1%2.9%
3 Beds$1,6300.1%2.6%

New York, Texas Claim Biggest Rent Decreases

Incoming apartment supply isn’t just lowering national average rents; it’s also making some of the country’s most historically pricey markets just a little bit more affordable. “The huge number of apartments entering the market benefits all renters – but especially those in the country’s more expensive areas,” said Doug Ressler, Senior Analyst for Yardi Matrix. “More apartments mean more choices – and, ultimately, more bargaining leverage for the renter.”

Take Manhattan, for example. The exclusive NYC borough has long been the most expensive place to live in the nation, but thanks to a recent 3.1% dip in rents year-over-year and the huge inventory expansion, it’s slowly becoming more accessible to the region’s growing population. With more than 7,000 units to be delivered in 2017, rents in the area now run $4,054 – a huge downturn from the $4,154 rents seen at the start of the year.

The Lone Star State is home to some of the country’s biggest rent drops, too. Lubbock experienced a 3.1% year-over-year dip in rents, while College Station saw rents decrease 2.2%. College Station increased its supply of apartment units by more than 300% just this year.

With so many new units hitting the market, Ressler says some communities are forced to offer serious amenities in order to stay competitive. “These new apartment communities often come with upscale amenities, including 24/7 fitness centers, yoga studios, rooftop farms and pet spas,” he said. “Some even offer concessions, like a month of free rent or free gym memberships. These perks aren’t limited to overly-popular markets such as NYC or San Francisco, either. Minneapolis is also seeing tons of new, top-notch apartments added to its rental market, as is Nashville and Orlando.

U.S. Cities Where Rents Have Fallen Y-o-Y

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
2Manhattan (New York City)NY-3.1%$4,054
3College StationTX-2.2%$1,179
6Oklahoma CityOK-1.6%$723
7Brooklyn (New York City)NY-1.6%$2,712
8Round RockTX-1.5%$1,107
9San FranciscoCA-1.3%$3,439
10Broken ArrowOK-1.2%$801

Rents had a considerable drop in the following cities also:  Pearland, TX, Tulsa, OK, Oklahoma City, OK, Brooklyn, NY, Round Rock, TX, San Francisco, CA, and Broken Arrow, OK.

Rent Growth Strongest in Smaller Markets in July with Midland, Buffalo at the Forefront

Though record-setting apartment construction is certainly dampening rents in some places, development isn’t as widespread as it needs to be to fully meet demand. Many metros are still experiencing sky-high rents and staggering growth due, for the most part, to the increasing demand for apartment living. Offering flexibility and convenience – and sometimes a more affordable option than today’s historically high-priced housing market – Millennials and Baby Boomers alike are making renting their lifestyle of choice.

Areas with strong job markets are also seeing a shift from homeownership toward renting, and that, too, is driving up rent costs in some of the nation’s most in-demand cities.

Midland, TX, is a prime example of this. Texas has added more than 319,000 jobs over the last year, and unemployment is at record lows. Midland came in with the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state, with just 3.5% of residents without jobs in June. This healthy economy has led to serious population growth over the past few years, and more than 25,000 people have moved to the area since 2010. Apartment construction has been unable to keep up with this growth – and the subsequent rising demand – and rents have skyrocketed in the city. The average Midland apartment now costs $1,180 per month – a whopping 18.1% higher than this time last year. Nearby Odessa is also seeing a similar problem. The city’s rent has grown 13.4% over the year, hitting $1,013 in July.

It seems Texas and New York are topping all the lists this month. Though Midland and Odessa took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots for rent growth, Buffalo, NY, came in at No. 3, with a 12.7% spike in rents since last year. Buffalo rents now ring in at $977 per month.

The Cities with the Fastest Growing Rents – July 2017

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
7Colorado SpringsCO9.4%$1,070

On the other end of the spectrum, the list of cities with the biggest spike in rents are: Reno, NV, Lancaster, CA, Stockton,CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Tacoma, WA, Kent, WA, Sacramento, CA.

Affordability Finds a Home in Midwest, South

Rents may be softening in San Francisco, but California dominates the fastest-growing rents list with 5 cities making the top 10 renter unfavorable markets. Manhattan once again came in tops for highest rents in the country, with an average rent of $4,054 per month. San Francisco was in second with rents of $3,439, and Boston came in at third with a rent of $3,245.

On a more positive note, inventory and staggering rents don’t seem to be as much of a problem in the Midwest. Wichita yet again came in as the country’s most affordable city, with rents of just $642 per month. Just like last month, Toledo took the No. 2 spot; rents there are just $661 – less than half the national average for July.

Rounding out the top 10 for most affordable rents were Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Brownsville, Killeen and Amarillo, Texas; Independence, Missouri; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Dayton, Ohio. These cities have comprised the top 10 for three months running.

Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents - July 2017

CityStateAverage Rent
San FranciscoCA$3,439
San MateoCA$3,059
Jersey CityNJ$2,849
Santa ClaraCA$2,766
San JoseCA$2,660

Top 10 Cities with the Lowest Rents - July 2017

CityStateAverage Rent
Fort WayneIN$720
Oklahoma CityOK$723

We’ve expanded our coverage for the monthly rent report to 250 cities – specifically the ones that have populations over 100K and a rental stock of at least 2,800 apartments in 50+ unit buildings.

Curious about cities like Cincinnati, Houston, or Portland? See where your city stands when it comes to rent growth and average rent prices by checking out this table:

CityStateAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
Manhattan (New York City)NY$4,054 0.00%-3.10%
San FranciscoCA$3,439 -0.10%-1.30%
BostonMA$3,245 0.40%0.90%
San MateoCA$3,059 -0.80%1.50%
CambridgeMA$3,052 0.30%1.50%
Jersey CityNJ$2,849 0.50%3.40%
SunnyvaleCA$2,808 0.20%2.20%
Santa ClaraCA$2,766 0.30%1.70%
Brooklyn (New York City)NY$2,712 0.00%-1.60%
San JoseCA$2,660 0.20%2.20%
Daly CityCA$2,514 0.30%4.10%
OaklandCA$2,484 0.20%0.30%
StamfordCT$2,371 -0.50%0.30%
IrvineCA$2,364 0.40%4.30%
FremontCA$2,361 0.60%0.90%
PasadenaCA$2,318 0.20%1.30%
GlendaleCA$2,270 -0.10%1.40%
Los AngelesCA$2,238 0.20%4.50%
BellevueWA$2,160 0.20%4.30%
CarlsbadCA$2,138 -0.50%0.40%
BurbankCA$2,117 -0.10%2.80%
ArlingtonVA$2,096 0.20%0.90%
Thousand OaksCA$2,087 0.10%5.70%
HaywardCA$2,056 0.30%3.70%
Washington D.C.DC$2,045 0.20%0.20%
San DiegoCA$2,025 -0.20%3.70%
SeattleWA$2,002 0.50%7.60%
Huntington BeachCA$1,997 0.10%3.60%
Costa MesaCA$1,976 0.10%3.30%
OrangeCA$1,944 0.10%3.20%
ConcordCA$1,891 0.70%4.50%
YonkersNY$1,878 0.20%8.40%
VenturaCA$1,848 -0.20%4.40%
Simi ValleyCA$1,848 0.00%1.40%
Long BeachCA$1,847 0.50%3.50%
Santa RosaCA$1,834 1.00%8.20%
Santa ClaritaCA$1,826 -0.60%4.30%
ChicagoIL$1,823 0.10%3.20%
OxnardCA$1,817 -0.40%5.50%
Santa AnaCA$1,810 0.10%3.50%
MiramarFL$1,800 0.20%3.20%
FullertonCA$1,792 0.60%4.40%
TorranceCA$1,764 -0.10%6.80%
Fort LauderdaleFL$1,751 0.20%3.10%
BoulderCO$1,747 -0.20%0.10%
DavieFL$1,739 0.10%5.50%
Rancho CucamongaCA$1,722 0.20%2.90%
West CovinaCA$1,717 1.10%6.40%
VallejoCA$1,716 0.40%6.30%
AnaheimCA$1,701 0.10%5.10%
AlexandriaVA$1,683 -0.10%1.00%
OceansideCA$1,675 -0.40%3.40%
Garden GroveCA$1,666 0.30%5.50%
VistaCA$1,655 -0.40%2.00%
Pembroke PinesFL$1,653 0.40%3.90%
FairfieldCA$1,644 0.00%7.30%
Chula VistaCA$1,636 -0.20%6.40%
Coral SpringsFL$1,635 0.10%4.70%
RosevilleCA$1,621 0.20%8.20%
RentonWA$1,596 0.30%4.90%
New HavenCT$1,594 -0.30%4.00%
MiamiFL$1,587 -0.40%2.10%
CoronaCA$1,574 0.60%5.10%
OntarioCA$1,573 0.10%5.10%
SalinasCA$1,565 0.30%6.40%
MurrietaCA$1,564 0.10%5.30%
HillsboroOR$1,529 0.00%3.70%
TemeculaCA$1,522 0.30%3.70%
Santa MariaCA$1,514 0.70%4.10%
EdisonNJ$1,514 -0.10%3.60%
DenverCO$1,514 -0.10%2.90%
PhiladelphiaPA$1,482 -0.50%1.00%
EscondidoCA$1,480 -0.60%5.60%
NapervilleIL$1,457 -0.10%3.90%
PortlandOR$1,453 -0.40%0.40%
MinneapolisMN$1,450 -0.10%4.50%
LakewoodCO$1,450 0.10%4.10%
Ann ArborMI$1,442 -0.10%4.80%
Sandy SpringsGA$1,420 0.30%4.10%
El CajonCA$1,416 0.10%6.90%
KentWA$1,409 0.40%9.10%
RiversideCA$1,406 -0.10%4.80%
PomonaCA$1,396 -0.70%2.90%
Fort CollinsCO$1,390 -0.10%4.30%
Moreno ValleyCA$1,380 0.50%7.20%
WestminsterCO$1,364 -0.60%1.90%
ThorntonCO$1,362 0.00%1.30%
EverettWA$1,358 0.20%6.30%
AtlantaGA$1,356 0.40%3.80%
West Palm BeachFL$1,344 0.70%5.90%
FriscoTX$1,334 0.30%1.40%
AustinTX$1,316 0.20%0.80%
HollywoodFL$1,314 -0.60%3.70%
RichardsonTX$1,309 0.50%2.30%
ScottsdaleAZ$1,287 -0.50%4.30%
ArvadaCO$1,279 -0.10%3.20%
AuroraCO$1,278 -0.10%2.90%
NashvilleTN$1,274 0.10%3.60%
HialeahFL$1,270 0.20%6.40%
OrlandoFL$1,269 -0.30%3.70%
AuroraIL$1,267 -0.20%2.20%
PlanoTX$1,262 0.10%0.60%
PearlandTX$1,259 0.10%-2.00%
SacramentoCA$1,257 0.10%9.00%
CharlestonSC$1,243 0.50%2.60%
ManchesterNH$1,242 0.20%4.00%
McKinneyTX$1,237 0.40%2.60%
Pompano BeachFL$1,237 0.70%1.90%
EugeneOR$1,233 -0.10%3.60%
St. PetersburgFL$1,212 0.20%5.50%
TempeAZ$1,211 -0.20%4.30%
VancouverWA$1,210 -0.60%4.60%
BaltimoreMD$1,208 -0.20%2.20%
TampaFL$1,199 -0.10%5.00%
GreshamOR$1,190 -0.50%2.00%
MidlandTX$1,180 0.90%18.10%
MadisonWI$1,180 -0.30%2.40%
College StationTX$1,179 -0.50%-2.20%
FontanaCA$1,178 0.20%5.70%
HartfordCT$1,173 -0.20%0.90%
ChesapeakeVA$1,166 0.40%2.90%
ElizabethNJ$1,159 0.40%6.70%
RialtoCA$1,159 0.00%2.80%
LancasterCA$1,158 0.00%11.10%
TacomaWA$1,156 0.10%9.20%
CarrolltonTX$1,155 0.30%4.40%
PittsburghPA$1,147 0.00%2.90%
CaryNC$1,147 -0.20%2.60%
CharlotteNC$1,144 0.40%3.40%
NewarkNJ$1,143 -0.10%3.50%
TallahasseeFL$1,141 0.60%3.40%
Virginia BeachVA$1,138 0.30%1.00%
DallasTX$1,138 0.20%4.10%
DentonTX$1,133 0.10%2.70%
GainesvilleFL$1,119 -0.20%3.10%
BrandonFL$1,118 0.00%2.30%
LewisvilleTX$1,117 0.00%1.50%
ClearwaterFL$1,114 0.00%3.40%
RaleighNC$1,114 -0.10%2.80%
Salt Lake CityUT$1,112 0.30%5.70%
ChandlerAZ$1,112 -0.40%2.30%
Round RockTX$1,107 0.10%-1.50%
San BernardinoCA$1,105 0.20%4.00%
HendersonNV$1,105 -0.10%3.30%
IrvingTX$1,104 -0.20%4.40%
GilbertAZ$1,102 -0.30%4.10%
RenoNV$1,098 1.30%12.40%
ModestoCA$1,097 0.10%7.00%
New OrleansLA$1,092 -0.30%-0.50%
MilwaukeeWI$1,090 -0.30%1.60%
DurhamNC$1,074 0.10%3.50%
Colorado SpringsCO$1,070 0.40%9.40%
West JordanUT$1,069 -0.10%1.90%
GreeleyCO$1,064 0.00%5.30%
WilmingtonNC$1,058 1.00%4.80%
StocktonCA$1,051 0.10%10.40%
MurfreesboroTN$1,047 -0.20%3.30%
HoustonTX$1,043 -0.30%-0.80%
Baton RougeLA$1,042 0.00%3.10%
Fort WorthTX$1,038 0.20%5.70%
West Valley CityUT$1,037 -0.40%3.40%
NorfolkVA$1,033 0.20%2.30%
Grand PrairieTX$1,032 -0.20%5.40%
SavannahGA$1,025 -0.50%4.00%
SyracuseNY$1,022 0.50%2.90%
Overland ParkKS$1,017 -0.30%1.70%
OdessaTX$1,013 0.90%13.40%
RichmondVA$1,002 0.20%2.70%
VictorvilleCA$1,000 0.20%8.10%
San AntonioTX$9840.40%1.40%
North CharlestonSC$983-0.30%6.20%
Corpus ChristiTX$9660.00%-0.40%
Kansas CityMO$9330.00%2.40%
Grand RapidsMI$9330.00%2.40%
Las VegasNV$932-0.10%5.00%
North Las VegasNV$916-0.10%1.90%
Newport NewsVA$9120.30%2.20%
St. LouisMO$8790.20%1.90%
Des MoinesIA$8670.50%7.60%
South BendIN$8610.70%4.40%
Sterling HeightsMI$8570.00%2.40%
Broken ArrowOK$801-0.50%-1.20%
Little RockAR$7750.10%1.00%
High PointNC$770-0.10%1.60%
Las CrucesNM$7650.70%1.70%
Kansas CityKS$760-0.30%0.40%
El PasoTX$7520.30%0.10%
Oklahoma CityOK$723-0.30%-1.60%
Fort WayneIN$7200.60%3.90%
About RentCafe 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 largest cities in the US. The report is exclusively based on apartment data related to buildings containing 50 or more units.

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 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.

Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time.

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