Single-Family Rent Growth Picks Up a Bit

US Single-Family Rents Up 3% Year Over Year in April

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Property Rental

  • Rents for lower-priced homes increased faster than those of higher-priced homes.
  • For the fifth consecutive month, Phoenix had the largest annual rent increase of the 20 analyzed metropolitan areas in April.
  • Houston and Orlando had the largest deceleration in rent growth in April.

U.S. single-family rents increased 3% year over year in April 2019, up from a 2.8% increase in April 2018, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent 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 2.9% and 3.2% for the past 12 months.  

National Single Family Rent Index Year-Over-Year Percent Change By Price Tier

Using the rent index to analyze specific price tiers reveals important differences. Figure 1 shows that the index’s overall growth in April 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 3.6% year over year and rents for higher-priced homes, defined as properties with rents more than 125% of the regional median rent, increased 2.5% year over year.

Single-Family Rent Index Year Over Year Percent Change in 20 Markets

Rent growth varies significantly across metro areas[1]. Figure 2 shows the year-over-year change in the rental index for 20 large metropolitan areas in April 2019. Phoenix had the highest year-over-year rent growth this April with an increase of 6.9%, followed by Tucson (6.5%) and Las Vegas (6.5%). Orlando had the strongest year-over-year employment growth among the 20 metros in April, with job gains of 3.5%, and Phoenix had employment growth of 3.2%. This is compared with national employment growth of 1.8%. Miami had the lowest rent growth in April, increasing by just 0.9% from the prior year. Houston and Orlando had the largest deceleration in rent growth in April. The pace of annual rent growth in Houston fell 2.8 percentage points, from 4% in April 2018 to 1.2% in April 2019. The pace of growth fell by 1.1 percentage points in Orlando, from 5.1% in April 2018 to 4% in April 2019.

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

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