Average rental prices rise as nation faces multifamily housing shortage

Rents in 36% of the nation's cities exceeded the national average

As rent prices continued to climb in July, RentCafé indicates that the nation’s average rent rose $48 from the previous year.

According to the company’s Apartment Market Report, the national average rent in July totaled $1,469. Not only is this a 0.2% increase from last month, but it is also 3.4% higher than the same time period in 2018.

Doug Ressler, Manager of Business Intelligence at Yardi Matrix, said rents continue to rise partly because more and more Americans are looking for apartments while too few are being built.

“A slow recovery in construction has led to a nationwide housing shortage,” Ressier said. “The number of households is now rising at the same level as in the 1990s and early 2000s, but apartment development is not keeping up with demand, leading to rising prices.”

In July, 36% of the country’s largest 260 cities had rents that exceeded the national average, whereas 64% of rents fell below this median.

“A slowdown in month-over-month rent increases is visible across the U.S. Only eight out of the 260 cities in the study saw month-over-month jumps of more than 1%,” RentCafé writes. “At the same time, 64% reported rents below the $1,469 national average.”

RentCafé revealed that Wichita, Kansas remains the most affordable city in the country, with an average apartment rent of $660. This is closely followed by Tulsa, Oklahoma where rents sit at $697.

However, markets like New York and California continue to boast the most expensive rents as prices in Manhattan, San Francisco and Boston sit at $4,222, $3,706 and $3,528, respectively.

The image below shows monthly rent changes across the country:

Apartment Market Report

NOTE: By utilizing rental data provided by Yardi Matrix, RENTCafe’s research team analyzed rent data across the 260 largest cities in the country. The report is based on apartment data related to buildings containing 50 or more units.

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