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December Rents Jump Significantly from 2014 Levels, Portland and Sacramento See Biggest Gains

It seems 2015 closed out as one of the biggest years for rent increases in a while. While apartment rents remained unchanged in December – staying stagnant at $1,165 per month – 2015 saw a total rent growth of 6.4 percent year-over-year, the second highest increase we’ve seen in the past decade. This is significantly higher than the 2.8% long-term average, according to Yardi Matrix.

U.S. Average Rents Dec 2015

The rental market’s biggest annual jumps were seen in the West and Northwest, with rents rising 14.8% in Portland, 10.7% in Sacramento, 10.5% in Seattle, 10% in San Francisco and 9% in Los Angeles.

Y-O-Y U.S. Apartment Rent Growth Dec 2015

Other highlights of the Yardi Matrix December report include:

  • Rent growth will slow, but remain high in 2016. Rent growth across the nation is expected to slow down in the coming year, but experts expect it will still be higher than the historical average – about 4.5 percent.
  • Millennials and Baby Boomers will increase demand. As Boomers downsize and Millennials struggle with student debt and down payments, demand for rental properties will increase. Though an expected 335,000 units will be completed in 2016, the vacancy rate will likely remain low, due to this increased demand.
  • The Northeast saw the least rent growth. Washington D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, Virginia, all saw year-over-year rent growth at lower than the historical average. Rents rose less than 2 percent in all three cities.

Just as rent growth varies across the country, so do the properties you can get for our nation’s average monthly rent. Here’s an idea of what you can get for around $1,165 right now in some of the nation’s top metros.


With the highest rising rents in the country, you might have to sacrifice a little on living space to live in the fast-growing city of Portland, but with a place at the Cyan/PDX Apartments, you might not even mind. Located right in the heart of the city, Cyan offers stunning views, an organic vegetable garden, fruit trees, and free recycling. Each unit comes with a balcony, washer/dryer, energy-efficient appliances and more. A 1-bath studio apartment starts at $1,185 a month.

Cyan PDX Apartments in Portland


Though Seattle rent prices saw major jumps too, there are still plenty of good deals you can get around the city. Just take the Galleria Apartments, for example. While average rents for studio apartments in Seattle sit somewhere around $1,340, studios at the Galleria rent for $1,125. Interiors feature large closets, modern light fixtures, and a stunning view of the city. The community itself offers two sparkling seasonal swimming pools, a sundeck, a recreation room, recycling, and is pet-friendly.

Galleria Apartments in Seattle

San Antonio

On the slower end of rent growth, San Antonio gets you a lot for your money. At the beautiful Toscana at Sonterra apartments, a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit with more than 1,000 square feet starts at just $1,024 per month. Each unit comes with a security alarm, high ceilings, crown moldings, walk-in showers, and ceramic tile countertops. The community features some luxurious amenities including a resort-style pool, a detached garage, a fitness center, a spa, and controlled-access gates.

Toscana at Sonterra Apartments in San Antonio

To check out these properties or see other rental options in your area, search RENTCafé now.

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About the author

Ama Otet

Ama 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. You can connect with Ama on Twitter or via email.

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