Multifamily Rents Climb in 81 Percent of U.S. Markets in April, RENTCafé Report Shows

National Rent Declines

The 13 cities that saw rents decline year-over-year as of April 2017. Source: Yardi.

Average U.S. apartment rents saw a modest increase of 0.2 percent from March to April 2017, but rents increased in 81 percent of markets nationwide, according to a report from RENTCafé.

The report uses data from the apartment listing service’s parent company, software provider Yardi. The RENTCafé research team analyzed data across the 250 largest cities in the United States for buildings containing 50 or more units.

Based on the data, the average U.S. apartment saw a $2 increase in rent between March and April 2017. Rents increased in April in 203 of the 250 cities tracked by Yardi, while they decreased in 13 cities and stayed flat in 34.

Year-over-year, rents went up 2 percent nationwide, which is “a significant reduction in regard to historical performance at this time of the year and is the lowest annual growth rate we’ve seen in more than three years,” according to the report’s author, Ama Otet.

By comparison, average rents increased at triple that rate — 6 percent — from April 2015 to April 2016.

California cities make up the bulk of the April rent-growth list, with 11 of the top 20 growth cities located in the state. Stockton, Calif., took the lead — the San Francisco suburb saw year-over-year rents increase 11.2 percent to $1,029. Manhattan held strong to its spot as the most expensive rental city in the nation, with average rents above $4,000 per month.

For the third month straight, San Francisco led the nation for declining rents with average rent dropping 3.6 percent year-over-year to an average of $3,355.

Despite its position as the most expensive market in the country, Manhattan saw the third-largest year-over-year decline at 2.5 percent.

Texas and Oklahoma markets make up the bulk of the cities with declining rents. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma City; Tulsa and Norman, Okla.; along with Corpus Christi, McAllen, Pearland and El Paso, Texas, all saw year-over-year declines leading into April 2017. That’s eight of the 13 rent-decline markets, all from just two states.

Average rents are no surprise, with smaller Midwest cities like Wichita, Kan., and Toledo, Ohio, at the lowest end and major coastal cities like Boston and nearly all of Coastal California at the high end.

“To no one’s surprise, the [high rent] list is largely dominated by California cities, including San Mateo, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose,” writes Otet. “The remaining high-rent cities were Cambridge, Mass.; Jersey City, N.J.; and Brooklyn, N.Y. Fortunately, it seems like Brooklyn renters can afford it: The NYC borough has seen an explosion of high-income earning renters in recent years, with more than 52,000 households currently fitting the bill.”

To read the full report, click here.

— Jeff Shaw

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