Single-Family Rent Growth Not
Slowing Down

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

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Property Rental

  • Rents for lower-priced homes increased faster than those of higher-priced homes.
  • Phoenix once again outpaces other metros for rent increases.
  • Houston and Orlando had the largest deceleration in rent growth in May.

U.S. single-family rents increased 3% year over year in May 2019, up from a 2.8% increase in May 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 May 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 2.5% 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 May 2019. For the sixth consecutive month, Phoenix had the highest year-over-year rent growth this May with an increase of 7.4%, followed by Tucson (6.3%) and Las Vegas (6.1%). Phoenix also had the strongest year-over-year employment growth among the 20 metros in May, with job gains of 3.2% compared with national employment growth of 1.5%. Miami had the lowest rent growth in May, increasing by just 1% from the prior year. Houston and Orlando had the largest deceleration in rent growth in May. The pace of annual rent growth in Houston fell 2.8 percentage points, from 3.9% in May 2018 to 1% in May 2019. The pace of growth fell by 1.1 percentage points in Orlando, from 5.2% in May 2018 to 4.1% in May 2019.

[1] Metro areas used in this report are Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions where available. The SFRI is computed for 75 metros.

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