October Rents Quiet Down in One-Fifth of U.S. Cities in Anticipation of the Off-Season

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Key takeaways:

  • National rents are feeling the effects of the off-season, slightly decreasing to $1,358 in October, and posting an annual growth of just 2.3% — according to Yardi Matrix.
  • 79% of the 250 biggest cities in the U.S. (198 in total) experienced growth over the past year; 47 cities saw rents flat-line, and only 5 cities had rent decreases. 
  • Small town rents continue to rise, led by Odessa and Midland in Texas with spectacular 31.6% and 25% y-o-y increases. 
  • Hyperactive rental markets Manhattan, Brooklyn, Portland, San Francisco and others have finally settled down. 

One-bedroom apartment rents increased the most

One- and two-bedroom apartment units are the most popular among renters. The average price of one-bedroom apartments is $1,166, up 2.7 percent since last year, and that of two-bedroom apartments is $1,331, up 2.6 percent in one year. Rental rates for 3-bedroom apartments increased by 2.4 percent y-o-y and are currently $1,559 per month, while rents for studio apartments have increased by only 1.8 percent, averaging $1,193 per month.

Bedroom TypeAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
1 Bed$1,1660.0%2.7%
2 Beds$1,331-0.2%2.6%
3 Beds$1,559-0.1%2.4%

October rents fell in only 5 U.S. cities but stayed flat in one-fifth of the cities surveyed

Only 5 out of 250 cities studied witnessed actual rent decreases in October. Rents in Lubbock, TX have dropped the most, by -8.1% in one year, while the other 4 cities saw much smaller price drops. New York City’s Manhattan and Brooklyn rents went down by -2.3% and -2% respectively, joining other pricey markets on a general slowing trend nationally. The city of McAllen in Southern Texas saw a -1.9% rent decline in October compared to the same time last year, and Kansas City, KS a -1.3% decline in prices over the same period of time.

However, the big news is that rent prices are virtually stagnating in close to one-fifth of the cities surveyed (47 out of 250), which is the most places we’ve seen so far this year, a sign that the U.S. rental market is not only slowing down overall, but it’s also entering the low-demand winter season, when prices are typically not expected to move much. For renters in places like Davie, FL, Hillsboro, OR, or Norman, OK, ’tis the season for bargain hunting.

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

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
2Manhattan (New York City)NY-2.3%$4,076
5Kansas CityKS-1.3%$751

Small Town, USA rents continue going up

The most noteworthy rent increases in October took place in a handful of small towns in Texas, California, New York and Nevada, 5 of which saw double-digit increases. The national leader in rent growth is oil and gas industry hub Odessa, TX, with a spectacular 31.6% year over year increase. Reaching an average rent of $1,094 per month in October 2017, Odessa’s atypical price jumps this year are a reflection of an economy going through a recovery and expansion phase of extraordinary proportions.

With an average rent of $1,252 per month, nearby Midland, TX saw the second highest rent hikes in the country in October, 25% y-o-y. The exceptional growth seen here and in neighboring Odessa paints the Midland-Odessa metropolitan area as one of the country’s fastest-growing magnets for Millennials in search of well-paid jobs and affordable housing.

Renters in L.A. county’s Lancaster, CA were hit with an 11.6% rent increase y-o-y — the third highest in the country — and are now paying on average $1,166 per month for an apartment. Two other Southern California towns, Victorville and West Corvina, also join the top 10 cities with fastest growing rents in the U.S. in October. Northern California wasn’t spared either, with Modesto posting a not-so-modest rent increase of 9.5%, and capital city Sacramento, with an annual rent increase of 9%, one of the hardest hit markets in the country in 2017 in terms of rents.

A constant in the top 10 for a few months now, Buffalo, NY’s rents increased by 10.9% y-o-y, taking the 4th spot. Yonkers, NY is feeling some spillover effects from pricey Manhattan. The Hudson River city made the top 10 with a 9.3% y-o-y rent increase, bringing prices to $1,907/month in October.

Reno, NV renters are dealing the effects of a recovering housing market, with rent prices jumping 10.8% over the year, and paying on average $1,121/month in rent. Overall, it’s the small towns’ turn to deal with big rent increases, especially in places hardest hit by the housing crisis some 10 years ago that are finally coming back up with a bang.

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

#CityStateChange Y-o-YAverage Rent
8West CovinaCA9.1%$1,735

NY, SF, and Boston area apartments remain the most unaffordable in the U.S.

Entering the off-season, all the major players in the rental market are putting the breaks on prices for the time being. However, they remain the most expensive in the country, with the priciest apartments renting in Manhattan, for $4,076 per month, on average, followed by San Francisco, for $3,420 per month, and by Boston, for $3,236 per month, on average. Other cities from the same areas round up the top 10: Cambridge, MA in 4th place, San Mateo, CA in 5th place and Jersey City, NJ in 6th place.

The search for affordable rents ends in the Midwest. As expected, the lowest apartment rents are in Wichita, KS ($631/month), Toledo, OH ($668/month) and Tulsa, OK ($680/month). Three Texas towns also made the bottom 10: Brownsville, Killeen, and Amarillo.

Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents - October 2017

CityStateAverage Rent
San FranciscoCA$3,420
San MateoCA$3,025
Jersey CityNJ$2,826
Santa ClaraCA$2,702
San JoseCA$2,621

Top 10 Cities with the Lowest Rents - October 2017

CityStateAverage Rent
Oklahoma CityOK$730
Fort WayneIN$730

2017’s most hyperactive rental markets are finally settling down

Rent prices in 7 of the top 10 most expensive cities for renters in the U.S. are either declining or flat-lining, a much-needed relief for apartment dwellers. Those living in overly-active markets like Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Nashville, Oakland, Raleigh, and Houston have seen more than their fair share of rent hikes this year and, fortunately, they’re getting a bit of a break. Rents in Portland stayed flat, at $1,440/month in October, so have those in Austin, TX, at $1,304 per month, and Nashville, TN, at $1,260 per month.

The rental market has had a slow third quarter, but it is expected to regain momentum by mid-2018. We’re seeing a lot of activity in both new and value-add development in the second half of 2017, which is expected to continue as aggressive demand exceeds supply in most markets, says Yardi Matrix Senior Analyst Doug Ressler.

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$4,076 -0.3%-2.3%
San FranciscoCA$3,420 -1.2%-0.2%
BostonMA$3,236 -0.2%0.6%
CambridgeMA$3,033 -0.8%0.4%
San MateoCA$3,025 -0.9%2.4%
Jersey CityNJ$2,826 -0.6%1.7%
SunnyvaleCA$2,756 -1.2%4.7%
Brooklyn (New York City)NY$2,706 0.6%-2.0%
Santa ClaraCA$2,702 -1.9%3.0%
San JoseCA$2,621 -1.2%2.4%
OaklandCA$2,538 -0.4%1.6%
Daly CityCA$2,484 -0.8%2.9%
IrvineCA$2,395 0.1%3.4%
PasadenaCA$2,391 0.9%3.5%
StamfordCT$2,367 -0.5%0.0%
GlendaleCA$2,344 1.0%1.2%
FremontCA$2,332 -0.8%0.0%
Los AngelesCA$2,292 0.3%5.6%
BurbankCA$2,211 0.9%5.0%
CarlsbadCA$2,188 0.6%4.1%
WashingtonDC$2,093 0.0%0.9%
BellevueWA$2,066 -2.2%1.6%
ArlingtonVA$2,063 -1.0%-0.5%
Thousand OaksCA$2,050 -1.3%7.3%
HaywardCA$2,035 0.0%2.4%
San DiegoCA$2,020 -1.3%2.2%
Huntington BeachCA$2,007 0.0%2.5%
Costa MesaCA$1,994 -0.1%2.2%
SeattleWA$1,988 -0.9%5.4%
OrangeCA$1,955 -0.4%2.0%
YonkersNY$1,907 1.4%9.3%
Simi ValleyCA$1,902 0.7%-0.5%
ConcordCA$1,883 -0.1%4.3%
Long BeachCA$1,875 0.1%2.7%
VenturaCA$1,867 0.1%8.5%
Santa RosaCA$1,848 -0.1%4.7%
Santa AnaCA$1,832 0.6%3.6%
BoulderCO$1,832 1.2%6.1%
OxnardCA$1,824 -0.8%5.1%
Santa ClaritaCA$1,816 -1.4%0.0%
FullertonCA$1,805 -0.1%4.8%
MiramarFL$1,792 -0.9%0.1%
ChicagoIL$1,791 -1.3%1.9%
TorranceCA$1,783 -0.1%6.3%
Fort LauderdaleFL$1,748 0.4%2.5%
Rancho CucamongaCA$1,735 -0.3%3.1%
West CovinaCA$1,735 1.3%9.1%
AnaheimCA$1,721 1.1%5.8%
VallejoCA$1,709 -0.5%4.8%
OceansideCA$1,693 0.1%4.3%
VistaCA$1,691 0.4%4.3%
FairfieldCA$1,690 0.7%8.2%
AlexandriaVA$1,659 -1.1%-0.4%
DavieFL$1,648 -3.3%-0.8%
Garden GroveCA$1,643 0.1%3.7%
Chula VistaCA$1,637 -0.4%5.1%
New HavenCT$1,631 0.2%3.6%
CoronaCA$1,617 0.3%6.1%
Coral SpringsFL$1,603 -0.9%-1.0%
MiamiFL$1,603 0.3%2.0%
Pembroke PinesFL$1,601 -1.2%1.5%
MurrietaCA$1,600 1.4%6.5%
RosevilleCA$1,599 -2.0%4.3%
RentonWA$1,584 -1.0%5.5%
OntarioCA$1,580 0.1%3.5%
TemeculaCA$1,567 0.2%4.6%
EdisonNJ$1,557 0.5%4.8%
SalinasCA$1,554 -0.1%5.6%
DenverCO$1,515 -0.6%3.0%
EscondidoCA$1,513 0.3%6.5%
Santa MariaCA$1,511 1.0%6.6%
PhiladelphiaPA$1,500 -0.3%1.8%
HillsboroOR$1,476 -3.3%0.8%
MinneapolisMN$1,474 -0.1%3.7%
Ann ArborMI$1,463 0.1%4.9%
PortlandOR$1,440 -0.6%-0.7%
RiversideCA$1,440 0.3%5.5%
PomonaCA$1,432 -0.4%0.4%
Fort CollinsCO$1,429 -1.0%6.2%
NapervilleIL$1,425 -1.7%1.2%
El CajonCA$1,424 -0.2%4.9%
LakewoodCO$1,420 -1.3%3.8%
Sandy SpringsGA$1,392 -0.9%2.7%
KentWA$1,389 -1.3%7.1%
WestminsterCO$1,386 1.0%3.0%
Moreno ValleyCA$1,379 -0.9%5.6%
ThorntonCO$1,359 -0.4%1.8%
EverettWA$1,355 -0.8%4.3%
AtlantaGA$1,352 -0.1%3.0%
West Palm BeachFL$1,335 0.1%4.6%
Pompano BeachFL$1,334 1.4%5.4%
FriscoTX$1,328 0.3%1.8%
ArvadaCO$1,322 0.1%6.4%
ScottsdaleAZ$1,317 0.2%4.4%
RichardsonTX$1,312 0.1%0.8%
HollywoodFL$1,306 -2.1%0.9%
AustinTX$1,304 -0.4%0.2%
OrlandoFL$1,304 0.4%5.3%
AuroraCO$1,287 0.2%5.3%
SacramentoCA$1,285 0.4%9.0%
PearlandTX$1,270 0.3%1.5%
AuroraIL$1,265 -0.6%0.2%
HialeahFL$1,263 -0.1%5.6%
NashvilleTN$1,260 -0.3%1.4%
PlanoTX$1,255 0.1%0.4%
MidlandTX$1,252 1.4%25.0%
ManchesterNH$1,248 -0.4%3.1%
EugeneOR$1,248 0.2%3.5%
CharlestonSC$1,237 -0.6%0.7%
St. PetersburgFL$1,237 0.7%7.2%
VancouverWA$1,234 0.0%4.1%
TempeAZ$1,232 0.7%3.6%
BaltimoreMD$1,230 -0.1%3.4%
McKinneyTX$1,216 -0.9%1.2%
FontanaCA$1,213 1.1%7.5%
GreshamOR$1,212 0.3%1.4%
TampaFL$1,207 0.0%3.3%
College StationTX$1,206 3.9%0.5%
TacomaWA$1,189 0.8%8.2%
RialtoCA$1,188 2.1%5.0%
MadisonWI$1,186 -0.3%1.5%
HartfordCT$1,183 -0.7%2.1%
ElizabethNJ$1,177 0.1%7.1%
NewarkNJ$1,167 -0.7%3.6%
LancasterCA$1,166 -0.2%11.6%
ChandlerAZ$1,162 1.2%6.0%
ChesapeakeVA$1,161 -0.1%3.6%
TallahasseeFL$1,158 0.2%2.8%
Virginia BeachVA$1,158 0.2%3.2%
DentonTX$1,157 0.1%2.7%
GainesvilleFL$1,155 0.0%3.3%
PittsburghPA$1,150 -0.3%2.4%
HendersonNV$1,150 1.1%6.5%
GilbertAZ$1,146 0.4%5.9%
DallasTX$1,143 0.3%4.2%
ModestoCA$1,143 1.4%9.5%
CarrolltonTX$1,141 0.0%1.7%
CharlotteNC$1,141 -0.3%2.8%
CaryNC$1,135 -0.4%1.5%
BrandonFL$1,133 0.0%1.3%
San BernardinoCA$1,131 0.9%6.3%
RenoNV$1,121 -0.3%10.8%
Round RockTX$1,116 0.9%-0.2%
RaleighNC$1,112 -0.7%1.6%
Salt Lake CityUT$1,112 -0.5%4.7%
MilwaukeeWI$1,110 0.5%2.7%
ClearwaterFL$1,110 0.1%3.1%
IrvingTX$1,105 -0.4%4.5%
LewisvilleTX$1,098 -0.4%0.4%
New OrleansLA$1,095 0.3%-0.8%
OdessaTX$1,094 2.0%31.6%
West JordanUT$1,083 0.5%1.5%
Colorado SpringsCO$1,083 0.6%8.0%
DurhamNC$1,074 -0.8%4.1%
StocktonCA$1,071 0.6%7.5%
GreeleyCO$1,069 0.1%5.0%
HoustonTX$1,067 0.9%1.6%
MurfreesboroTN$1,066 -0.2%2.9%
West Valley CityUT$1,061 1.2%3.9%
SyracuseNY$1,052 -1.0%0.6%
Baton RougeLA$1,049 -0.2%0.4%
Fort WorthTX$1,045 0.0%5.4%
WilmingtonNC$1,040 -0.1%2.9%
NorfolkVA$1,037 0.3%2.5%
Overland ParkKS$1,036 0.5%2.8%
VictorvilleCA$1,034 0.9%8.6%
Grand PrairieTX$1,033 -0.3%5.2%
PeoriaAZ$1,027 1.4%6.4%
ClovisCA$1,022 1.0%5.8%
RichmondVA$1,018 0.1%4.3%
ClevelandOH$1,014 0.8%4.3%
BuffaloNY$1,014 0.2%10.9%
BoiseID$1,013 -0.1%4.9%
SavannahGA$1,011 -1.1%1.8%
San AntonioTX$9800.1%1.7%
North CharlestonSC$971-0.2%0.5%
Corpus ChristiTX$9670.8%0.8%
North Las VegasNV$9640.7%6.8%
Grand RapidsMI$9620.4%4.2%
Las VegasNV$9620.5%6.3%
Kansas CityMO$9380.1%2.0%
Newport NewsVA$901-0.7%0.9%
Sterling HeightsMI$8890.7%5.3%
St. LouisMO$879-0.1%2.3%
South BendIN$8781.3%3.1%
Des MoinesIA$863-0.2%5.0%
Broken ArrowOK$794-0.5%0.1%
Las CrucesNM$7840.3%2.1%
Little RockAR$7680.1%0.5%
High PointNC$7580.1%2.3%
Kansas CityKS$751-0.4%-1.3%
El PasoTX$745-0.4%0.1%
Oklahoma CityOK$7300.6%-0.1%
Fort WayneIN$7300.1%3.8%

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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