Redfin Reports U.S. Asking Rents Ticked Up for Second Straight Month in May, Hitting Highest Level Since 2022

Written by Posted On Sunday, 16 June 2024 06:17

The median asking rent climbed 0.8% year over year to $1,653 just $47 below the record high. Washington, D.C., Cincinnati and Chicago all saw double-digit increases.

The median U.S. asking rent rose 0.8% year over year in May to $1,653 — the highest level since October 2022, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s the second consecutive increase (rents climbed 0.9% year over year in April) following 11 months of decreases. Rents rose 0.5% on a month-over-month basis.

Apartment prices are closely tied to apartment supply. Multifamily construction surged during the pandemic moving frenzy, which pushed rent prices down because building owners were competing for tenants. While multifamily building starts have fallen below their 10-year historical average, there’s still a backlog of new units that are hitting the market every month, which is putting a lid on how much prices can grow.

“Demand from young renters remains high, as many of them are opting to stay put rather than contend with an increasingly unaffordable homebuying market,” said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “But so far, rent price growth has been limited because there are enough new apartments to meet demand, even in the busiest time of year for the rental market.”

For the past three quarters, the rental vacancy rate has hovered at 6.6%. That’s the highest level since 2021, though it’s worth noting that the vacancy rate is no longer growing like it was during the pandemic.

While asking rents ticked up in May, they’re stable compared to recent years; they rose as much as 17.5% year over year during the pandemic, and then fell as much as 4.1% this past summer. Still, the median asking rent in May was just $47 below (-2.8%) August 2022’s record high of $1,700, posing affordability challenges for some renters.

Rents Are Posting Double-Digit Gains in Washington, D.C., But Falling in the Sun Belt

In Washington, D.C., the median asking rent rose 11.1% year over year in May — the biggest jump among the 33 major U.S. metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed. Four other metros saw double-digit gains: Cincinnati (10.9%), Chicago (10.8%), Virginia Beach, VA (10.3%) and Minneapolis (10.3%).

The biggest asking rent declines were in Jacksonville, FL (-10.1%), San Diego (-8.7%), Austin, TX (-7.2%), Seattle (-5.9%) and Phoenix (-5.5%).

Rents are falling in the Sun Belt in part because the region has been building more apartments than other parts of the country (like the Midwest and Northeast) to meet demand brought on by the influx of people who moved in during the pandemic. But the pandemic housing boom is now in the rearview mirror, and property owners are facing vacancies, which is causing rents to cool.

Meanwhile, rents are rising in many Midwest metros because the region hasn’t been building as many apartments. The Midwest is also the most affordable region to live in, which helps bolster demand at a time when housing affordability is strained across most of the U.S.

To view the full report, including charts, metro-level data and methodology, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/asking-rents-highest-since-2022

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Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate broker, instant home-buyer (iBuyer), lender, title insurer, and renovations company. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. 

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