Apartment Rents Stabilize in November Around the Country, While Mid-Sized Markets Remain Active

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Key takeaways:

  • Rents were consistent for the month, coming in at $1,358 – just 2.5 percent higher than this time last year, according to data from Yardi Matrix.
  • 83% of the nation’s biggest cities have seen rents grow in the last year, 14% saw rents remain steady, while only 3% experienced rent drops compared to 2016. 
  • America’s smaller cities are continuing to see the biggest price increases y-o-y, with the Lone Star State’s Odessa and Midland leading the pack. 
  • Month-over-month rents are down across all sized units, including studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three-bedrooms.

Stability was the name of the game in November, with not only the national rent staying stable, but also the rents of the nation’s most volatile markets. Whether it’s a result of the renting off-season or a sign of changing tides is yet to be seen. It may take a few more months until we have an answer.

Rent is slightly down across all unit sizes for the month, but still up compared to last year

Rents are down for all sized apartments – at least month over month. Since October, studio apartments, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three-bedrooms have all dipped 0.1 percent. Seeing that two unit sizes saw rents either rise or stay steady back in October, this is good news for renters of all budgets.

Over the year, rents have risen on all four unit sizes, though not drastically. Studios have grown the least since 2016, rising 2.4 percent to $1,196 per month. Three-bedroom rents grew by 2.7 percent ($1,332), two-bedroom rents up 2.9 percent ($1,332), and prices for one-bedrooms increased by a full 3 percent year over year ($1,166).

Bedroom TypeAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
1 Bed$1,166-0.1%3.0%
2 Beds$1,332-0.1%2.9%
3 Beds$1,560-0.1%2.7%

Rents in trendsetter markets are going down or growing slower than the national average

Renters in nine of the nation’s 250 biggest cities are in luck; rents are down – in some cities as much as 7.7 percent over the year. Lubbock, TX rents have dropped the most since 2016, falling nearly 8 percent to just $891 per month. Fellow southern towns Norman, OK and McAllen, TX also saw rent drops of 2.6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. Rents in McAllen were just $761 per month in November.

Apartment rents in many large cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington DC, San Francisco, Austin and other markets of similar size have increased by less than the national average year over year. In some spots they’re even falling — in two of New York City’s most populated boroughs (Brooklyn and Manhattan), as well as in hot market Portland. On the other hand, a few big markets remain strong. In Los Angeles, Seattle, and Fort Worth rents climbed by over 5% over the year.

Other cities to see rents drop in November were New Orleans; Kansas City, KS; and Amarillo, TX. Nearly twice as many cities as last month saw rents decline.

U.S. Cities Where Rents Decreased Y-o-Y in November 2017

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
4Brooklyn (New York City)NY-2.0%$2,695
5Manhattan (New York City)NY-1.9%$4,089
6New OrleansLA-1.4%$1,085
8Kansas CityKS-1.2%$754

Small Texas towns lead the pack when it comes to rent growth

Apartments in Texas oil and gas towns Midland and Odessa continue to get pricier in November in a sustained rally to recover after the local market reached a low in 2016. Odessa came in with rents of $1,111 last month – a whopping 33.2 percent higher than last year’s numbers. Midland rents jumped 25.6 percent over the year, hitting $1,274 for the month.

The rest of the fastest-growing rents list is dominated by cities in the West and Northeast, with California claiming five of the remaining spots. Buffalo, NY rents rose 11.4 percent over the last year, while Yonkers, NY rents increased 10.4 percent. Lancaster, Sacramento, Modesto, Victorville and Ventura, CA all saw rents rise nearly 8 percent or higher. Insufficient rental supply and weak construction activity are the common denominators in these markets.

U.S. Cities with the Fastest Growing Rents in November 2017

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent

West Coast, Northeast remain highest-priced markets, while Midwest acts affordably

As the nation’s most expensive markets are absorbing the new apartments delivered this year, prices stayed the same for November, though many actually saw rents decrease over the month – if ever so slightly. Manhattan claimed the No. 1 spot, with the country’s highest rent of $4,089 – nearly $700 more than the No. 2-ranked San Francisco. Bay Area residents pay just over $3,400 a month.

Massachusetts’ biggest markets – Boston and Cambridge – once again took the No. 3 and 4 spots, with rents of $3,262 and $3,037, respectively. (Though if you look at Massachusetts’ highest-rent ZIP codes, these rents are a steal.)

Likely to no one’s surprise, five California cities made the list, including San Mateo, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose, while two Northeasterly towns – Jersey City and Brooklyn — rounded out the remaining top 10.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Wichita, KS, where rents are nearly seven times less than those in costly Manhattan. Toledo, OH rents aren’t far behind either, coming in at $667 for the month. The two have dominated the nation’s lowest rents list for some time now.

Other low-cost areas are spread across the South and Midwest. Three Texas towns – Brownsville, Killeen and Amarillo – made the list, while metros in Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio filled out the rest. Tulsa, OK took the No. 3 spot with rents of just $680 in November.

Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents - November 2017

CityStateAverage Rent
San FranciscoCA$3,432
San MateoCA$3,021
Jersey CityNJ$2,822
Santa ClaraCA$2,692
San JoseCA$2,608

Top 10 Cities with the Lowest Rents - November 2017

CityStateAverage Rent
Fort WayneIN$723
Oklahoma CityOK$728

Urban cores see rents stabilize – or at least come close to it

It seems America’s most volatile markets – largely urban centers located in the West and Northeast – are finally settling down. Though Manhattan’s sky-high rents remain the country’s most expensive month after month, they’ve actually dipped over the year – and they stayed steady from October to November.

San Francisco rents rose just 0.2 percent over the month and only 1.1 percent for the year. Similar stories ring true for Boston, Cambridge, and Brooklyn, where rents rose incrementally over the year and little to none for the month.

Many of the nation’s more hyperactive markets even saw declines in November. In Sunnyvale, CA, for example, rents fell nearly a full percent over the month (though they rose 5 percent since 2016). Rents also dropped in volatile San Mateo, San Jose and Santa Clara, CA, as well as Jersey City, NJ.

Yardi Matrix Senior Analyst Doug Ressler explains some of the factors that have an influence on rent prices this year and in the following year: “Multifamily remains the strongest sector by a variety of metrics, including investment sales volume, and analysts expect a deceleration in rent growth as the markets absorb new supply. Housing demographics continue to favor renting with a continued robust delivery pipeline. Yardi-Matrix notes that 300,000 apartment units are expected to come online for 2017 and 360,000 in 2018. This amount of new supply exceeds previous national levels over the last twenty years. Thirty-one percent of those new apartments will be delivered in the South Atlantic, followed by 25% in the West and 19% in the South West. The Northeast and Midwest will round it out with 14% and 12%.” 

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$4,089 0.00%-1.90%
San FranciscoCA$3,432 0.20%1.10%
BostonMA$3,262 0.00%2.00%
CambridgeMA$3,037 0.10%1.30%
San MateoCA$3,021 -0.10%1.00%
Jersey CityNJ$2,822 -0.10%1.80%
SunnyvaleCA$2,735 -0.80%5.00%
Brooklyn (New York City)NY$2,695 0.00%-2.00%
Santa ClaraCA$2,692 -0.40%2.70%
San JoseCA$2,608 -0.50%2.20%
OaklandCA$2,525 -0.50%1.80%
Daly CityCA$2,485 0.00%4.10%
IrvineCA$2,401 0.30%3.90%
GlendaleCA$2,393 0.00%3.30%
StamfordCT$2,388 0.90%0.90%
PasadenaCA$2,380 -0.50%3.30%
FremontCA$2,330 -0.10%1.30%
Los AngelesCA$2,285 -0.30%5.20%
BurbankCA$2,210 -0.10%5.50%
CarlsbadCA$2,169 -0.30%3.80%
WashingtonDC$2,090 -0.10%1.40%
ArlingtonVA$2,058 -0.20%-0.40%
Thousand OaksCA$2,052 0.10%6.60%
BellevueWA$2,048 -0.90%0.60%
San DiegoCA$2,045 1.10%4.00%
HaywardCA$2,033 -0.10%2.90%
Huntington BeachCA$2,007 0.00%2.80%
Costa MesaCA$1,998 0.20%2.80%
SeattleWA$1,977 -0.60%5.10%
OrangeCA$1,953 -0.10%-0.70%
YonkersNY$1,909 0.10%10.40%
Simi ValleyCA$1,904 0.10%1.00%
ConcordCA$1,883 0.00%3.50%
Long BeachCA$1,871 -0.30%2.40%
VenturaCA$1,866 -0.10%7.90%
Santa RosaCA$1,848 0.00%4.60%
Santa AnaCA$1,836 0.20%3.90%
Santa ClaritaCA$1,830 0.80%1.40%
BoulderCO$1,825 -0.40%5.60%
OxnardCA$1,820 -0.20%4.20%
Fort LauderdaleFL$1,817 -0.10%6.60%
FullertonCA$1,803 -0.10%4.00%
MiramarFL$1,799 0.50%1.50%
ChicagoIL$1,790 -0.30%2.50%
TorranceCA$1,777 -0.30%5.10%
Rancho CucamongaCA$1,742 -0.20%3.10%
AnaheimCA$1,719 -0.10%4.80%
West CovinaCA$1,718 -1.00%7.80%
VallejoCA$1,706 -0.20%4.90%
FairfieldCA$1,692 0.10%7.20%
OceansideCA$1,687 -0.40%3.90%
VistaCA$1,687 -0.20%4.10%
DavieFL$1,653 0.30%-0.50%
AlexandriaVA$1,652 -0.40%-0.80%
Garden GroveCA$1,644 0.10%3.20%
New HavenCT$1,643 0.70%5.10%
Chula VistaCA$1,635 -0.10%5.30%
CoronaCA$1,625 0.50%6.40%
Coral SpringsFL$1,613 0.60%-0.50%
Pembroke PinesFL$1,612 0.70%2.40%
MurrietaCA$1,597 -0.20%4.60%
MiamiFL$1,596 -0.30%1.40%
RosevilleCA$1,592 -0.40%5.20%
OntarioCA$1,581 0.10%2.60%
RentonWA$1,574 -0.60%4.90%
TemeculaCA$1,563 -0.30%4.30%
EdisonNJ$1,559 0.10%4.20%
SalinasCA$1,545 -0.60%5.80%
Santa MariaCA$1,519 0.50%6.30%
DenverCO$1,511 -0.40%3.20%
EscondidoCA$1,504 -0.60%5.40%
PhiladelphiaPA$1,497 -0.20%1.90%
HillsboroOR$1,470 -0.40%0.80%
MinneapolisMN$1,470 -0.30%3.20%
Ann ArborMI$1,469 0.40%4.90%
RiversideCA$1,441 0.10%5.70%
NapervilleIL$1,437 0.80%2.40%
PomonaCA$1,433 0.10%0.80%
PortlandOR$1,431 -0.70%-1.20%
Fort CollinsCO$1,426 -0.20%5.60%
El CajonCA$1,422 -0.10%4.30%
LakewoodCO$1,408 -0.90%3.20%
Sandy SpringsGA$1,388 -0.30%2.70%
Moreno ValleyCA$1,383 0.30%4.00%
KentWA$1,380 -0.70%6.00%
WestminsterCO$1,377 -0.70%2.50%
West Palm BeachFL$1,352 1.00%5.50%
ThorntonCO$1,350 -0.70%2.70%
AtlantaGA$1,344 -0.60%2.40%
EverettWA$1,342 -0.90%3.20%
Pompano BeachFL$1,335 0.10%4.70%
FriscoTX$1,332 0.30%2.40%
ScottsdaleAZ$1,331 0.80%5.20%
RichardsonTX$1,325 0.50%2.20%
HollywoodFL$1,319 1.00%2.30%
ArvadaCO$1,317 -0.40%6.00%
OrlandoFL$1,304 0.00%5.80%
AustinTX$1,300 -0.20%0.00%
SacramentoCA$1,289 0.30%9.10%
AuroraCO$1,280 -0.50%5.40%
MidlandTX$1,274 1.80%25.60%
PearlandTX$1,272 0.20%1.60%
AuroraIL$1,271 0.50%0.60%
HialeahFL$1,265 0.20%4.00%
NashvilleTN$1,263 0.00%1.50%
PlanoTX$1,261 0.50%1.00%
ManchesterNH$1,244 -0.30%2.60%
EugeneOR$1,243 -0.40%3.10%
TempeAZ$1,234 0.20%3.80%
BaltimoreMD$1,234 -0.20%4.40%
St. PetersburgFL$1,233 -0.30%6.60%
VancouverWA$1,230 -0.30%4.20%
CharlestonSC$1,223 -1.30%-0.20%
McKinneyTX$1,222 0.50%1.80%
FontanaCA$1,216 0.30%6.90%
GreshamOR$1,209 -0.30%1.60%
TampaFL$1,207 0.00%3.30%
College StationTX$1,199 -0.80%-0.20%
HartfordCT$1,197 1.20%3.50%
RialtoCA$1,189 0.10%4.70%
MadisonWI$1,186 0.00%1.30%
TacomaWA$1,186 -0.30%7.30%
ElizabethNJ$1,180 0.30%6.90%
NewarkNJ$1,173 0.40%4.30%
ChandlerAZ$1,167 0.40%6.60%
LancasterCA$1,167 0.10%11.30%
ChesapeakeVA$1,163 0.20%3.50%
TallahasseeFL$1,159 0.10%2.90%
GainesvilleFL$1,158 0.30%3.60%
Virginia BeachVA$1,157 -0.10%3.00%
HendersonNV$1,155 0.40%7.00%
DentonTX$1,151 -0.50%2.00%
CharlotteNC$1,147 0.30%3.40%
DallasTX$1,146 0.10%4.30%
GilbertAZ$1,146 0.00%6.10%
ModestoCA$1,146 0.30%8.60%
PittsburghPA$1,143 -0.80%1.70%
CarrolltonTX$1,142 0.10%2.10%
CaryNC$1,135 -0.20%2.30%
San BernardinoCA$1,132 0.10%5.70%
BrandonFL$1,131 -0.20%2.40%
RenoNV$1,121 0.00%9.90%
Salt Lake CityUT$1,115 0.30%4.70%
Round RockTX$1,113 -0.30%-0.70%
RaleighNC$1,112 -0.10%2.30%
OdessaTX$1,111 1.60%33.20%
ClearwaterFL$1,109 -0.10%2.90%
MilwaukeeWI$1,108 -0.20%2.40%
IrvingTX$1,102 -0.30%4.00%
LewisvilleTX$1,090 -0.70%-0.50%
West JordanUT$1,088 0.50%3.50%
New OrleansLA$1,085 -0.90%-1.40%
Colorado SpringsCO$1,075 -0.70%6.40%
StocktonCA$1,073 0.20%7.10%
DurhamNC$1,072 -0.20%3.50%
West Valley CityUT$1,072 1.00%4.40%
HoustonTX$1,069 0.10%2.10%
GreeleyCO$1,067 -0.20%5.60%
MurfreesboroTN$1,065 -0.20%2.70%
SyracuseNY$1,060 0.50%1.50%
Baton RougeLA$1,049 0.00%-0.90%
Fort WorthTX$1,044 -0.10%5.40%
WilmingtonNC$1,037 -0.30%1.50%
VictorvilleCA$1,037 0.30%8.10%
Overland ParkKS$1,034 -0.40%2.40%
NorfolkVA$1,033 -0.40%2.20%
Grand PrairieTX$1,030 -0.30%4.90%
PeoriaAZ$1,030 0.30%6.40%
ClovisCA$1,023 0.10%5.60%
BuffaloNY$1,017 0.30%11.40%
RichmondVA$1,016 -0.20%3.80%
ClevelandOH$1,011 -0.30%3.70%
BoiseID$1,010 -0.40%5.10%
SavannahGA$1,009 -0.20%1.80%
ColumbiaSC$1,000 0.20%4.00%
San AntonioTX$9790.00%1.90%
Corpus ChristiTX$9740.70%2.10%
North Las VegasNV$9680.40%7.10%
Las VegasNV$9660.40%6.60%
North CharlestonSC$963-0.80%0.50%
Grand RapidsMI$9620.00%4.10%
Kansas CityMO$9400.10%2.40%
Newport NewsVA$901-0.10%0.80%
South BendIN$8961.90%3.80%
Sterling HeightsMI$888-0.10%5.30%
St. LouisMO$8800.00%2.60%
Des MoinesIA$8720.40%6.70%
Broken ArrowOK$792-0.30%-0.30%
Las CrucesNM$7850.00%0.80%
Little RockAR$767-0.10%0.40%
Kansas CityKS$7540.10%-1.20%
High PointNC$750-1.10%1.60%
El PasoTX$744-0.10%0.70%
Fort WayneIN$723-1.00%3.60%
Oklahoma CityOK$728-0.30%0.00%

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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 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 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.

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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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