National rents grew at a double-digit annual pace (+15.5%) for the 10th straight month in May, but by the smallest amount since fall 2021 – hinting at potential relief to come later this year

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. median rental price hit its latest new high of $1,849 per month in May, representing a 26.6% increase since 2019 before the pandemic began, according to the Realtor.com® Monthly Rental Report released today. While May marked the 10th straight month of double-digit annual growth in national rents, the increase was the smallest since September 2021, offering renters a glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel.

"There's no question that renters are facing sky high prices. And with rising inflation reflecting price jumps for both rents and everyday expenses, many renters are feeling the strain on their finances," said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "Still, our May data suggests that the rent surge is beginning to lose some steam, in part because incomes can't keep up, even in the strong job market. Although rent growth remains historically high, the rate has been gradually cooling since January, pulling back from 2021's feverish pace. In a bit of good news for renters, the deceleration picked up in May which means if these trends continue, last month's prediction of rents surpassing $2,000 sometime this summer is going to take longer to materialize."

May 2022 Rental Metrics – National

Unit Size

Median Rent

Change over May 2021

Change over May 2020

Overall

$1,849

15.5 %

23.2 %

Studio

$1,530

16.9 %

18.8 %

1-bed

$1,708

15.2 %

22.5 %

2-bed

$2,076

14.8 %

25.5 %

 

National rents maintain double-digit growth, but cool slightly from 2021's record pace

For Americans looking for available rental units within their budgets, May trends offer bittersweet news. On one hand, national rents posted the smallest year-over-year gain (+15.5%) since September 2021, moderating from their January peak (+17.3%) for the fourth consecutive month. As a result, rents took a step back from their previous projection of surpassing $2,000 by as early as this summer. In fact, if rent growth continues cooling, typical asking rents may not reach that milestone until next year. Additionally, with the for-sale housing supply recovery forecasted to accelerate in the second half of the year, a rise in first-time buying opportunities could take even more pressure off rental demand and prices.

Still, rental affordability remained a significant challenge for many renters across the country in May. The U.S. median rental price continued its record-breaking streak, hitting a new high ($1,849) for the fifteenth month in a row and reaching 26.6% higher than in May 2019 before the onset of COVID. Additionally, all unit sizes posted double-digit rental price gains year-over-year: studios, up 16.9% to $1,530; one-bedrooms, up 15.2% to $1,708; and two-bedrooms, up 14.8% to $2,076. Rising inflation is further compounding the strain on households' monthly budgets, as higher costs of rents and regular expenses continue to outpace income growth.

Renters find relatively more affordable options where rental vacancy rates are lowest

In May, rents grew on a year-over-year basis in all 50 of the largest U.S. metros and at a faster pace than the national rate in nearly half (21) of these markets. The biggest annual rental price gains were registered in Miami (+45.8%), Orlando, Fla. (+28.4%), Providence, R.I. (+23.8%), San Diego (+22.7%) and Tampa, Fla. (+22.4%).

A key factor driving the ongoing rent surge is a lack of supply, as rental vacancy rates, which were already trending lower, have taken a sharp dive during the pandemic. These trends are magnified in the biggest cities that tend to attract younger residents, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers and looking for the flexibility in their living situations. Renting may also be a more desirable alternative to buying in these areas, where real estate has historically come at a premium. According to U.S. Census Bureau data from the first quarter of 2022, rental vacancy rates were lower inside (5.7%) versus outside (6.7%) the largest metro areas.

Realtor.com® analysis highlights the relationship between large markets' rental availability and prices. On one end of the spectrum, major tech hub Boston held the nation's fifth highest rent ($2,889) in May after posting a vacancy rate of just 2.4% in 2022-Q1. Conversely, renters may find more affordable options in relatively smaller and less densely populated secondary metros. Of the 10 areas with the highest vacancy rates, nine were among May's lowest-priced rental markets, led by Indianapolis with a significantly lower overall rent ($1,275) and higher vacancy rate (10.9%) than in Boston (see table below).

May 2022 Rental Metrics – Top 10 Metros by Lowest Vacancy Rates in 2022-Q1

Metro

Vacancy
Rate 2022-
Q1

May Median Rental
Price

May Median Rental Price
Rank (Highest to Lowest)

Indianapolis, Ind.

10.9 %

$1,275

47

Pittsburgh, Penn.

10.6 %

$1,528

34

Raleigh, N.C.

10.1 %

$1,652

28

Houston, Texas

9.7 %

$1,444

37

Buffalo, N.Y.

9.5 %

$1,333

44

Cincinnati, Ohio

9.0 %

$1,473

35

Oklahoma City, Okla.

8.7 %

$1,000

50

Tampa, Fla.

8.4 %

$2,093

12

Birmingham, Ala.

8.0 %

$1,234

48

Charlotte, N.C.

7.8 %

$1,719

26

 

May 2022 Rental Metrics – 50 Largest U.S. Metro Areas

Metro
Area

Overall
Median
Rent

Overall
Rent YoY

Studio
Median
Rent

Studio
Rent YoY

1-br
Median
Rent

1-br Rent
YoY

2-br
Median
Rent

2-br Rent
YoY

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.

$1,840

13.4 %

$1,699

15.3 %

$1,707

13.8 %

$2,055

13.0 %

Austin-Round Rock, Texas

$1,829

21.9 %

$1,474

22.8 %

$1,687

25.4 %

$2,018

18.7 %

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md.

$1,811

11.0 %

$1,425

6.2 %

$1,707

9.4 %

$1,915

9.4 %

Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.

$1,234

8.9 %

$1,056

3.2 %

$1,164

11.3 %

$1,308

9.3 %

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.

$2,889

21.5 %

$2,473

26.8 %

$2,693

19.7 %

$3,254

25.1 %

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y.

$1,333

9.2 %

$1,125

2.7 %

$1,175

6.9 %

$1,495

8.7 %

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.

$1,719

18.5 %

$1,603

22.5 %

$1,617

18.9 %

$1,867

13.8 %

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

$1,961

15.3 %

$1,655

23.2 %

$1,915

14.5 %

$2,175

11.0 %

Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.

$1,473

10.3 %

$1,212

12.7 %

$1,395

8.7 %

$1,610

7.4 %

Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio

$1,414

10.9 %

$946

5.6 %

$1,317

7.5 %

$1,537

13.4 %

Columbus, Ohio

$1,300

11.6 %

$1,090

11.1 %

$1,215

11.1 %

$1,401

8.2 %

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

$1,676

19.7 %

$1,439

21.4 %

$1,543

21.0 %

$1,958

18.7 %

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.

$2,010

12.9 %

$1,636

13.6 %

$1,884

13.5 %

$2,369

13.9 %

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

$1,415

7.2 %

$1,115

12.1 %

$1,185

6.7 %

$1,581

7.2 %

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.

$1,754

12.4 %

$1,468

27.7 %

$1,522

5.0 %

$2,073

16.4 %

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas

$1,444

11.1 %

$1,362

10.9 %

$1,325

12.7 %

$1,630

12.4 %

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.

$1,275

10.9 %

$1,065

9.1 %

$1,175

11.9 %

$1,418

9.1 %

Jacksonville, Fla.

$1,593

18.0 %

$1,185

31.7 %

$1,509

20.0 %

$1,756

20.4 %

Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.

$1,316

11.1 %

$1,024

8.4 %

$1,243

17.3 %

$1,499

11.0 %

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.

$1,648

20.2 %

$1,295

29.6 %

$1,518

19.7 %

$1,744

17.9 %

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.

$3,019

17.7 %

$2,313

17.4 %

$2,789

20.9 %

$3,462

16.7 %

Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind.

$1,224

13.8 %

$1,005

11.6 %

$1,149

13.6 %

$1,397

11.0 %

Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.

$1,413

17.7 %

$1,151

6.7 %

$1,362

17.9 %

$1,543

18.8 %

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.

$2,843

45.8 %

$2,413

41.8 %

$2,500

38.9 %

$3,201

45.5 %

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.

$1,578

12.7 %

$1,263

10.8 %

$1,465

10.6 %

$1,770

10.6 %

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.

$1,590

4.2 %

$1,250

4.6 %

$1,497

3.2 %

$1,944

2.9 %

Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, Tenn.

$1,749

20.6 %

$1,685

16.2 %

$1,625

19.1 %

$1,895

22.3 %

New Orleans-Metairie, La.

$1,805

12.8 %

$1,407

27.9 %

$1,618

8.4 %

$2,108

13.9 %

New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.

$2,872

18.7 %

$2,616

30.8 %

$2,565

14.0 %

$3,254

16.2 %

Oklahoma City, Okla.

$1,000

11.2 %

$936

33.7 %

$911

8.5 %

$1,099

14.4 %

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.

$1,955

28.4 %

$1,691

24.3 %

$1,811

27.4 %

$2,221

30.3 %

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.

$1,800

7.5 %

$1,525

8.2 %

$1,717

5.6 %

$1,995

5.0 %

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

$1,788

16.6 %

$1,424

16.2 %

$1,626

15.8 %

$1,972

14.7 %

Pittsburgh, Pa.

$1,528

6.6 %

$1,275

10.4 %

$1,510

9.0 %

$1,673

3.2 %

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.

$1,798

10.9 %

$1,444

7.3 %

$1,750

11.1 %

$2,138

8.2 %

Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass.

$2,198

23.8 %

$1,752

16.8 %

$1,920

23.9 %

$2,500

31.6 %

Raleigh, N.C.

$1,652

19.5 %

$1,478

20.7 %

$1,525

22.0 %

$1,833

18.6 %

Richmond, Va.

$1,460

15.9 %

$1,185

18.9 %

$1,326

15.8 %

$1,570

15.0 %

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

$2,617

9.5 %

$1,842

22.4 %

$2,159

10.7 %

$2,858

8.9 %

Rochester, N.Y.

$1,367

11.6 %

$1,005

11.0 %

$1,305

14.5 %

$1,497

12.9 %

Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, Calif.

$2,090

8.6 %

$1,844

7.8 %

$1,968

6.8 %

$2,255

7.6 %

San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas

$1,397

17.4 %

$1,254

13.4 %

$1,282

18.8 %

$1,600

19.0 %

San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.

$3,099

22.7 %

$2,484

19.7 %

$2,873

23.6 %

$3,450

19.0 %

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

$3,056

10.1 %

$2,431

10.1 %

$2,802

10.4 %

$3,522

6.8 %

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

$3,253

19.8 %

$2,545

22.4 %

$3,039

21.9 %

$3,665

19.6 %

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.

$2,233

16.6 %

$1,859

21.9 %

$2,217

15.9 %

$2,673

15.5 %

St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.

$1,346

6.5 %

$1,017

7.1 %

$1,290

8.9 %

$1,469

4.9 %

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

$2,093

22.4 %

$1,965

21.0 %

$1,879

21.2 %

$2,342

24.6 %

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.

$1,567

12.7 %

$1,352

10.0 %

$1,474

12.5 %

$1,686

9.3 %

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va.

$2,150

12.0 %

$1,745

12.2 %

$2,054

11.9 %

$2,562

9.9 %

 

Methodology

Data as of May 2022 for studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom units advertised as for-rent on Realtor.com®. Rental units include apartment communities as well as private rentals (condos, townhomes, single-family homes). National rents were calculated by averaging the medians of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, defined by the Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA). Realtor.com® began publishing regular monthly rental trends reports in October 2020 with data history going back to March 2019.

Note: With the release of its May 2022 Rental Report, Realtor.com® incorporated a new and improved methodology (see details here). As a result of these changes, the rental data released since May 2022 will not be directly comparable with prior publications and downloaded files. However, future releases, including historical data, will consistently apply the new methodology.

About Realtor.com®

Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 25 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps offers a marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.

Media Contact
rachel.conner@move.com 

 

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SOURCE Realtor.com

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