Rent Is Cheaper in These Cities Than a Year Ago

Written by Ashley Sutphin Posted On Wednesday, 14 December 2022 00:00

We’re consistently talking about how much rent is rising, but in reality, the prices for rent in many U.S. markets are declining, or at least starting to. Rent prices in the largest markets in the United States went down for the second consecutive month in October. The average fell to less than $2,000 for the first time since April of this year, according to new data.

Redfin, an online brokerage, gathered the data.

In 50 of the biggest metros in the United States, median rent prices went down 0.9% in October. They dropped from their previous average of $2,002 to $1,983.

Despite the declines, rents in the United States are still up 7.8% year-over-year as of October overall.

There are 11 cities where rent prices have seemed to defy the rising inflation, and they’re now cheaper than they were a year ago. This number was only five in September, according to Redfin.

The drop is at least partially related to an increase in available units for rent.

Redfin's Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr also says that persistent inflation is shrinking renters' budgets, leading to some of the cooling in rent prices.

The eleven cities where rent is cheaper than it was a year ago are:

  • Milwaukee—rents are down 17.6%
  • Minneapolis—rents are down 7.8%
  • Baltimore—rents are down 3.2%
  • Seattle—rents are down 2.7%
  • Boston—rents are down 2.5%
  • Austin—rents are down 2.3%
  • Atlanta—rents are down 2.2%
  • Columbus—rents are down 1.7%
  • Los Angeles—rents are down 1.1%
  • Chicago—rents are down 1.1%
  • Houston—rents are down 0.8%


Renters feel at least a bit of relief after two months of falling prices because monthly rent increases have ranged from 0.5% to 2% over the past year.

Marr said in September that Redfin expects rent growth to continue slowing in 2023 as Americans continue to “hunker down.” This trend may lead to more rentals hitting the market.

Redfin looked at the costs of new leases in October, using data from for the largest metros in the U.S. That doesn’t mean the median prices in the study reflect what all renters in these areas are currently paying; instead, it reflects renters who signed leases.

Similarly, according to the 2022 Apartment List National Rent Report, the national index fell 1% throughout November. That was the third decline in a row, month-over-month, and it was the most significant single monthly dip since 2017.

According to Apartment List, some of the rent declines are due to seasonal trends, which are expected during this time of year, but the cooldown has been significantly sharper than what’s typically seen. That could mean that the falling rents reflect a more significant shift in market conditions than what can be attributed to seasonality alone. According to Apartment List, the rents will probably keep dropping, as winter is the slowest season in the rental market.

On the flip side, rents increased the most in the midwest and south. The cities that saw the biggest jumps in rent included:

  • Oklahoma City—31.7%
  • Raleigh—21%
  • Cincinnati—17%
  • Louisville—15.8%
  • Indianapolis—15.1%
  • Providence—13.6%
  • Salt Lake City—13.6%
  • Nashville—13.2%
  • Pittsburgh—12.8%
  • San Antonio—10.6%


If we look at 2022, rent growth exceeds the years before the pandemic, but the margin is becoming increasingly smaller.

For example, from January through November 2022, rents are up by 4.7%, which is more similar to 2018 and 2019 than last year, which saw 18% growth.

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