December 21, 2021
Rent prices continue to trend up across the U.S. as the end of the year approaches. Let's look at where rent prices stand today.
Nationwide rent prices for both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments have increased significantly year-over-year at 21.3 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.
After a brief lull in two-bedroom prices month-over-month, one- and two-bedroom rents increased slightly compared to October.
State to state, rent prices are up compared to this time last year. All states have seen two-bedroom rents increase in that time, and one-bedroom rents have risen in every state except Nebraska, which dipped 2 percent.
In the country's largest cities, rents are rising more often than receding. Seventy-nine percent of one-bedroom rents and 78 percent of two-bedroom rents in the 100 most populated cities have seen rent increases year-over-year.
Here are the highs and lows from city-level rent changes.
The following cities have experienced the biggest increases in one-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Six of these cities — Gilbert, AZ; Orlando, FL; Spokane, WA; Reno, NV; Port Saint Lucie, FL and Saint Petersburg, FL — have populations of 300,000 or less.
The following cities have experienced the biggest decreases in one-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Five of these cities —Durham, NC; Toledo, OH; Tacoma, WA; Madison, WI and Lincoln, NE — have populations of 300,000 or less.
The following cities have experienced the biggest increases in two-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Three of these cities — Hialeah, FL; Birmingham, AL and Fort Wayne, IN — have populations of 300,000 or less.
The following cities have experienced the biggest decreases in two-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Three of these cities — Plano, TX; Durham, NC and Scottsdale, AZ — have populations of 300,000 or less.
Some cities reflect increases or decreases in rent prices across all bedroom types. We call these "overlap cities."
Three cities in the top 10 have experienced year-over-year price increases in both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments:
Five cities in the top 10 have experienced year-over-year price decreases in both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments:
In addition to our pricing trends, here are a few key industry developments:
A year-end report from Redfin shows just how unprecedented the housing market was in 2021. Among the highlights was an all-time high $386,000 median home sale price, up 24.4 percent year-over-year. Driving the price hike is a sub-3 percent mortgage rate, an active investment sector and a record low housing supply. A meager 1.38 million homes went up for sale in 2021, down 23 percent from 2020. Of those homes, nearly 1 in 5 were purchased by investors.
These new records are one element putting upward pressure on the rental market as renters who would have transitioned to their dream homes are priced out of the home buying market.
From chicken wings and wrapping paper to rents, overall consumer prices went up 6.8 percent for the 12 months ending in November, a 39-year high. Economists predict the steep rise will continue, peaking above 7 percent in early 2022 before falling to 3 percent by year's end on the back of supply chain improvements, reduced energy costs, and Fed plans to slow bond purchases and raise interest rates. Still, don't expect prices, including rents, to return to pre-pandemic levels.
"Just because inflation will eventually moderate doesn't mean prices are going down," Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, said. "They're up. We're just lowering the rate of change, not the level of prices."
Our December 2021 Rent Report highlights year-over-year rent trends and price fluctuations that renters may experience in various parts of the United States. We compare rent prices for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments to determine which unit types and which of the country's most populated cities are becoming more affordable or more expensive for renters. States and cities with insufficient inventory are excluded from this report.
|Rank by Population||City, State||Population||1-BR Avg Rent, November 2021||1-BR YoY Change|
|14||San Francisco, CA||881,549||$3,661||13.66%|
|69||Jersey City, NJ||262,075||$3,144||22.60%|
|1||Los Angeles, CA||3,979,576||$2,996||13.53%|
|40||Long Beach, CA||462,628||$2,986||55.43%|
|9||San Jose, CA||1,021,795||$2,922||12.91%|
|52||Santa Ana, CA||332,318||$2,903||34.20%|
|7||San Diego, CA||1,423,851||$2,814||18.11%|
|95||Huntington Beach, CA||199,223||$2,594||16.94%|
|66||Chula Vista, CA||274,492||$2,281||11.33%|
|68||Saint Petersburg, FL||265,351||$1,973||36.52%|
|47||New Orleans, LA||390,144||$1,954||14.46%|
|88||Port Saint Lucie, FL||201,846||$1,882||33.57%|
|58||Saint Louis, MO||300,576||$1,853||-1.39%|
|25||Las Vegas, NV||651,319||$1,726||21.56%|
|56||Saint Paul, MN||308,096||$1,517||-1.13%|
|41||Virginia Beach, VA||449,974||$1,426||-2.27%|
|91||Salt Lake City, UT||200,567||$1,417||19.76%|
|36||Colorado Springs, CO||478,221||$1,371||-3.05%|
|89||Grand Rapids, MI||201,013||$1,257||1.16%|
|11||Fort Worth, TX||909,585||$1,238||4.71%|
|35||Kansas City, MO||495,327||$1,223||-12.10%|
|85||Des Moines, IA||214,237||$1,206||3.11%|
|6||San Antonio, TX||1,547,253||$1,070||1.85%|
|83||Baton Rouge, LA||220,236||$1,021||0.69%|
|53||Corpus Christi, TX||326,586||$1,001||17.12%|
|100||Little Rock, AR||197,312||$962||16.18%|
|20||El Paso, TX||681,728||$912||3.84%|
|23||Oklahoma City, OK||655,057||$835||20.57%|
|Rank by Population||City, State||Population||2-BR Avg Rent, November 2021||2-BR YoY Change|
|1||Los Angeles, CA||3,979,576||$4,696||8.88%|
|66||Jersey City, NJ||262,075||$4,543||27.08%|
|15||San Francisco, CA||881,549||$4,396||3.35%|
|52||Santa Ana, CA||332,318||$3,707||31.95%|
|7||San Diego, CA||1,423,851||$3,657||12.58%|
|91||Huntington Beach, CA||199,223||$3,564||20.18%|
|9||San Jose, CA||1,021,795||$3,312||6.82%|
|47||New Orleans, LA||390,144||$2,790||19.49%|
|58||Saint Louis, MO||300,576||$2,218||-1.93%|
|25||Las Vegas, NV||651,319||$2,016||27.23%|
|56||Saint Paul, MN||308,096||$1,934||0.46%|
|100||Grand Prairie, TX||194,543||$1,794||23.66%|
|41||Virginia Beach, VA||449,974||$1,756||1.95%|
|99||Overland Park, KS||195,494||$1,715||24.18%|
|72||North Las Vegas, NV||251,974||$1,690||13.43%|
|87||Salt Lake City, UT||200,567||$1,666||7.54%|
|85||Grand Rapids, MI||201,013||$1,647||7.45%|
|37||Colorado Springs, CO||478,221||$1,618||3.96%|
|12||Fort Worth, TX||909,585||$1,585||18.38%|
|36||Kansas City, MO||495,327||$1,517||-8.42%|
|65||Fort Wayne, IN||270,402||$1,503||47.17%|
|81||Des Moines, IA||214,237||$1,434||23.44%|
|6||San Antonio, TX||1,547,253||$1,337||9.29%|
|53||Corpus Christi, TX||326,586||$1,225||13.17%|
|20||El Paso, TX||681,728||$1,202||3.53%|
|96||Little Rock, AR||197,312||$1,158||21.59%|
|79||Baton Rouge, LA||220,236||$1,128||-3.31%|
|23||Oklahoma City, OK||655,057||$952||7.63%|
To determine average rent prices, we started with October 2021 data from Apartment Guide and Rent.com's multifamily rental property inventory. From there, we evaluated changes seen since October 2020. Monthly prices are based on the average price for that respective month as a whole.
We used a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. From there, we looked at historical standard deviations of our weighted rent prices to remove outlier markets and minimize potential volatility caused by lower inventory. Rent price increases and decreases per time period are based on the percentage change of apartment rental prices from October 2020.
The U.S. Census divides the country into four geographic regions: Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont); Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin); South (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, District of Columbia and West Virginia) and West (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). The top 100 cities in our analysis were determined by 2019 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.