Published by REALTOR.com | February 23, 2023
As the new year kicked off, the wild run-ups in rental prices that terrorized tenants last year appear to have leveled off.
January was the 12th month in row where rent growth slowed, according to the Realtor.com® monthly rental report. Monthly rents were down $80 from the peak in August, but they were still up 2.9% year over year, to hit a median $1,726 a month in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.
(Realtor.com looked at rents for studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, condos, townhomes, and single-family homes in the 50 largest metros. Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas.)
“The biggest takeaway is while the rental growth is slowing, the affordability concerns continue.”
—Jiayi Xu, Realtor.com Senior Economist
Tenants have been grappling with sticker shock as rental prices soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many couples and individuals moved out on their own, while others were would-be homeowners who were trapped in rentals after being outbid or priced out of the for-sale housing market. This strained the limited supply of rentals, driving prices skyward.
“With high rents across the country, places that offer relative affordability tend to be in high demand, which means more competition and that these lower prices might not last,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a statement. “Many of these metros have fewer available rental homes than [in] previous months, and fewer apartments to choose from means prices are likely to go up.”