The two ends of the rental market are meeting in the middle

by Steve Randall27 Sep 2019

Rents are moving but while some of the hottest markets are becoming less expensive for renters, those that were more affordable are taking a bigger bite out of paychecks.

A report from HotPads shows that US median rent has increased by an 3.2% year-over-year to $1,560 a month. That growth is in line with the last 6 months following a period of faster growth since the middle of 2018.

In San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego – the four most expensive rental markets in the country – annual rent appreciation has dropped two-tenths of a percentage point or more from May 2019. San Diego’s median rent is currently $2,790, up 3.7% year-over-year.

Meanwhile, in some of the more affordable markets, rent appreciation is well-above average, such as Cincinnati with a 4.9% year-over-year rise to $1,300.

"The rental market is being pulled in several directions right now," said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads. "Some of the hottest markets have hit their turning point after a year or more of increases, while other areas are steadily on the rise, causing appreciation to stall on a national level. However, this push-and-pull effect is likely temporary. Demand in the rental market typically slows in cooler months, while low mortgage rates may encourage more renters to buy – together, these factors could lead to a slower rental market throughout the remainder of 2019."

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