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May Rents Hit All-time High Again, but Some Markets See Deceleration

Washington DC

For the fifth-straight month, the national average rent has reached an all-time high, this time reaching a whopping $1,204 per month – $10 more than the April average. According to the Yardi Matrix Monthly Report, this marks a 0.9% jump for May and a 6% jump from just one year earlier.

US Average Rents May 2016

Here are some other highlights from the report:

    • The cities that generated the most significant rent growth year-over-year were Seattle, Sacramento, and Portland, with each seeing jumps of 11% or more. Phoenix and Atlanta weren’t far behind, with 8% increases.
    • A few markets are softening, with San Francisco, Denver, and Houston seeing rental rates decelerating.
    • Baltimore and Washington, DC posted some of the smallest rent gains in 2015. In DC’s case, the relative stability of the rental market has much to do with the rapid pace of new construction. The high number of new apartments coming online gives renters room to breathe as where there’s availability there’s choice. This effect is especially felt at the higher-end of the market, where new supply has been concentrated. When it comes to Baltimore, the job market is less flourishing (1.6%), putting a damper on rent growth as well.

Y-O-Y Rent Growth May 2016

  • Millennials play a large role in the increase of rental averages, as many of them are just now reaching their prime renting years. “Growth in the prime renter age cohort is expected to support the formation of an estimated one million households annually for the next few years”, the report notes.
  • Job growth also factors in, as May marked the 74th consecutive month of employment growth for the nation. Many markets that have seen high job growth have also seen rents rising in tandem. Austin, for example, has seen a 4.6% jump in employment over the past year. As such, rents are expected to rise 5.8% by year’s end.

Though $1,204 may be the average rent for the country, that doesn’t mean all markets are created equal. The average rent can cover a wide variety of locations, sizes and apartment styles, and it truly varies from city to city. Let’s take a look at what $1,204 can get you in a few select markets right now.


Though $1,200 is on the low side for Seattle rents, there are still a number of quality properties in that price range. Take the brand-new Adler Flats in Yesler Terrace for example. For just $900, you can get a studio apartment in a great location. Just minutes from dining, shopping, entertainment and even local colleges, it’s a top choice for any renter. Designed and built with eco-friendly principles in mind, the community includes a great rooftop deck with views of Downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, the Sports Stadiums, and Mt. Rainier. Loft-style micro flats rent for $1,275.

Apartments at Alder Flats in Seattle WA


The average rent can get you quite a bit of space in Phoenix, Arizona. Check out the Villas at Cave Creek for example. For just $1,050, you can get a 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with over 1,200 square feet! Units even boast breakfast nooks, premium lighting packages, wood-burning fireplaces and faux stone flooring. Plus, you can’t beat the community amenities, which include a coffee bar, fitness center, four pools, a sundeck a sports court and more.

Villas at Cave Creek Apartments in Phoenix AZ


For $1,204, you can get loads of space in Atlanta. Just look at Peninsula at Buckhead in Buckhead’s Lindbergh – Morosgo neighborhood. For $1,193 a month, you can get a one-bedroom, 1 bath apartment with nearly 700 square feet of space. Throw in the community’s sparkling pool, clubhouse, and BBQ/picnic area, and you have the perfect setting for a new life in Georgia’s capital.

Peninsula at Buckhead Apartments in Atlanta GA

Want to learn more about these properties? Visit RENTCafe.com.

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About the author

Amalia Otet

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

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