Single-Family Rent Growth Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

US Single-Family Rents Up 2.9 Percent Year Over Year in March

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Property Rental

  • Rents for lower-priced homes increased faster than those of higher-price homes.
  • Phoenix had the largest annual rent increase of the 20 analyzed metro areas in March.
  • Houston and Miami had the largest deceleration in rent growth in March.

U.S. single-family rents increased 2.9% year over year in March 2019, up from a 2.7% increase in March 2018, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rental Index (SFRI). The index measures rent changes among single-family rental homes, including condominiums, using a repeat-rent analysis to measure the same rental properties over time. Single-family rents climbed steadily starting in 2010, and annual rent increases have stabilized, fluctuating between 2.7% and 3.1% for the past 12 months.  

National Single Family Rent

Using the rental index to analyze specific price tiers reveals important differences. Figure 1 shows that the index’s overall growth in March 2019 was propped up by low-end rentals, defined as properties with rents 75% or less of a region’s median rent. Rents on lower-priced rental homes increased 3.5% year over year and rents for higher-priced homes, defined as properties with rents more than 125% of the regional median rent, increased 2.4% year over year.

Single Family Rent Index

Rent growth varies significantly across metro areas[1]. Figure 2 shows the year-over-year change in the rental index for 20 large metro areas in March 2019. Phoenix had the highest year-over-year rent growth this March with an increase of 7.4%, followed by Las Vegas (6.9%) and Tucson (6.3%). Orlando had the strongest year-over-year employment growth among the 20 metros in March, with job gains of 3.7%, and Phoenix had employment growth of 2.8%. This is compared with national employment growth of 1.7%. Miami had the lowest rent growth in March, increasing by just 0.4% from the prior year. Houston and Miami had the largest deceleration in rent growth in March. The pace of annual rent growth in Houston fell 2.1 percentage points, from 3.3% in March 2018 to 1.2% in March 2019. The pace of growth fell by 1.2 percentage points in Miami, from 1.6% in March 2018 to 0.4% in March 2019.

[1] Metro areas used in this report are Core Based Statistical Areas. The SFRI is computed for 75 CBSAs.

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