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Rents Growth Accelerates After a Relatively Flat 12 Months
After slow growth in 2018, rents are rising faster now than they were last year in 36 of the country's 50 largest markets.
- Rents are rising 3.1 percent annually - appreciation is at its highest level since August 2017.
- Rents in Phoenix are rising the fastest overall, and rents in Austin are rising three times faster now than they were last year.
- Formerly hot markets like Sacramento and Seattle continue to cool relative to prior years, though rents in these areas are still rising faster than the national pace.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Across the U.S., rent growth is picking up its pace following a year of relatively stagnant appreciation, according to the latest quarterly HotPads® Rent Report.

The U.S. median rent is $1,530 per month, up 3.1 percent from a year ago. Rent growth slowed in 2018, but appreciation has been on the rise in recent months. Now, rent growth is at its highest level since August 2017.

Compared to this time last year, rents are rising faster in 36 of the country's 50 largest metro areas. Austin had the largest increase in rental appreciation, followed by Phoenix and San Jose. The median rent in Austin is $1,760, up 3.2 percent from a year ago – last year at this time, rents in Austin rose 1 percent annually.

While Austin's rent appreciation had the largest jump, rents in Phoenix are still rising faster than any other market analyzed. The median rent in Phoenix is $1,510 per month, up 6.6 percent over the past year. A year ago, Phoenix rents rose 4.9 percent annually.

While rent prices have been rising for the past six yearsi, the pace of appreciation started to slow in 2016 as the economy recovered and construction halted by the recession came online. With income growth beginning to outpace rent appreciation nationwide, housing affordability is a top concern in many of the nation's largest markets.

"We have entered a new phase in the housing cycle," said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads. "A year ago, the country was experiencing slowing rental markets and tighter for-sale markets. Today, most of the country is experiencing the opposite: The rental market is picking up the pace, while prospective home buyers have been better equipped to get off the sidelines as the housing market cools. This is a welcome shift for renters who have been waiting to buy, but those who continue to rent will face a high-pressure market through the busy summer season."

While rent growth picked up in most of the nation's largest metro areas, many historically hot rental markets cooled over the past year. In February 2018, Sacramento and Seattle had the country's fastest-rising rents. Now, rent growth has declined more in Sacramento and Seattle than in any other metro area analyzed – annual rent appreciation slowed from 7.7 percent to 5.9 percent in Sacramento, and from 5.9 percent to 4.1 percent in Seattle.

HotPads is a Zillow® Group-owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. For more information on the U.S. rental market, visit HotPads.com.

Metropolitan Area

Median Rent

Median Rent YoY
(Q1 2019)

Median Rent YoY
(Q1 2018)

United States

$1,530

3.1%

3.0%

New York, NY

$2,380

1.4%

1.4%

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

$2,950

4.2%

4.8%

Chicago, IL

$1,785

2.1%

2.0%

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

$1,675

3.0%

3.5%

Philadelphia, PA

$1,685

2.8%

2.0%

Houston, TX

$1,585

1.8%

1.1%

Washington, DC

$2,185

2.1%

1.4%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

$2,040

2.8%

2.0%

Atlanta, GA

$1,485

5.7%

4.8%

Boston, MA

$2,425

3.0%

3.6%

San Francisco, CA

$3,525

3.8%

3.3%

Detroit, MI

$1,305

3.8%

3.6%

Riverside, CA

$1,980

5.6%

5.6%

Phoenix, AZ

$1,510

6.6%

4.9%

Seattle, WA

$2,245

4.1%

5.9%

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

$1,695

3.6%

4.1%

San Diego, CA

$2,740

4.7%

5.2%

St. Louis, MO

$1,205

2.3%

1.9%

Tampa, FL

$1,490

5.1%

3.7%

Baltimore, MD

$1,750

1.4%

1.0%

Denver, CO

$2,125

4.1%

3.6%

Pittsburgh, PA

$1,110

3.2%

1.6%

Portland, OR

$1,950

3.2%

3.2%

Charlotte, NC

$1,400

4.6%

3.7%

Sacramento, CA

$1,995

5.9%

7.7%

San Antonio, TX

$1,390

2.5%

2.3%

Orlando, FL

$1,540

5.9%

4.3%

Cincinnati, OH

$1,250

3.7%

3.4%

Cleveland, OH

$1,210

3.1%

2.0%

Kansas City, MO

$1,260

2.7%

3.2%

Columbus, OH

$1,450

4.0%

3.6%

Indianapolis, IN

$1,240

3.1%

2.8%

San Jose, CA

$3,720

3.9%

2.3%

Austin, TX

$1,760

3.2%

1.0%

Virginia Beach, VA

$1,485

1.9%

1.3%

Nashville, TN

$1,515

2.6%

2.9%

Providence, RI

$1,790

4.3%

4.0%

Milwaukee, WI

$1,385

2.1%

1.4%

Jacksonville, FL

$1,405

4.8%

3.3%

Memphis, TN

$1,050

2.8%

1.5%

Oklahoma City, OK

$1,120

1.8%

0.9%

Louisville-Jefferson County, KY

$1,140

3.1%

3.5%

Hartford, CT

$1,675

2.2%

1.5%

Richmond, VA

$1,470

4.1%

3.3%

New Orleans, LA

$1,450

1.5%

1.1%

Buffalo, NY

$1,280

3.5%

2.8%

Raleigh, NC

$1,480

3.3%

2.5%

Birmingham, AL

$1,060

3.5%

1.9%

Salt Lake City, UT

$1,625

5.0%

4.4%

HotPads

HotPads is an efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, with features designed for competitive markets such as map-based search, real-time notifications and detailed information on landlords and property managers that help renters spend less time searching and more time feeling excited about their next home.

Launched in 2005, HotPads is based in San Francisco and is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG).

HotPads is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.


i Rents have risen year-over-year every month since December 2012, the earliest month available from HotPads data.

SOURCE Hotpads, Inc.

For further information: Lauren Thompson, HotPads, press@hotpads.com