The US median rent price rose 8.1% year-over-year and 3.2% month-over-month to a new high of $1,575 in June, according to the Realtor.com Monthly Rental Report.
Forty-four of the 50 largest metros broke new records led by Riverside, Memphis, Tampa and Phoenix, which posted gains above 20% year-over-year. Riverside rents grew 24.3% from last year and 4.6% from May.
Driving up rental prices was the shortage of affordable housing inventory, which forced more prospective homebuyers into the rental market in June, according to Realtor.com
“The surge we’re seeing in rental prices is likely to exacerbate the K-shaped, or uneven, nature of the pandemic recovery in the US Rents are rising at a faster pace than income, which is adding to the challenges faced by lower-income Americans as they struggle to recover from job losses and other hardships brought about by COVID,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale in a prepared statement. “Looking forward, rents aren’t expected to slow unless we see a fundamental shift in the number of homes for sale and for rent.”
While rents typically fluctuate less than 1% monthly, rents rose more than 1% in June in all but two of the 50 largest US metros. Miami led the way with a 7.7% increase over May. Realtor.com says that gain that would be exceptional over 12 months let alone one.
Helping drive these rent increases is a lack of available homes for rents, according to Realtor.com. In 44 of the top 50 housing markets, rents hit the highest levels seen in two years. Nearly half of those metros posted month-over-month gains at or above the unusually high national rate.
While strong across the board, rental demand varied across unit types. As people demanded more space, two-bedroom rents increased at the fastest pace of all unit sizes in June, up 10.2% year-over-year to a new high of $1,770. In just two years, two-bedroom rents rose $212 per.
Still, one-bedrooms (+8.0%) and studio (+4.0%) rents also posted substantial gains in June, with one-bedroom rents reaching a new high of $1,466. While studio rents saw steep declines during COVID, they rose 5.8% over 2019 to a new two-year high of $1,294.
RealPage also noted strong rent growth. The company said that effective US asking rents are up 2% in June alone, an uptick that pushed year-over-year pricing increases up 6.3%. That’s the highest 12-month increase recorded since early 2001. And the average US monthly apartment rent rings in at $1,513, also a high watermark.
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