Single-family rents are soaring amid low supply

by Steve Randall18 Apr 2019

America’s renters are seeing fast acceleration of rents according to a new report.

The CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index tracks rent changes nationally and among 20 metro areas and posted a 2.9% rise in February 2019 compared to 2.7% a year earlier.

However, overall year-over-year rates have stabilized over the past year at an average of 3%; in February 2016 the annual rise was 4.1%.

Low-end rentals – those with rent prices less than 75% of the regional median – continued to see the highest percentage rent rises, 3.7% year-over-year in February 2019 compared to 3.6% a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the average annual rent increase for high-end rentals - with rent prices greater than 125% of a region’s median rent - increased 2.4% in February 2019, up from 2.3% in February 2018.

Rent growth is generally higher in metros with limited new construction, low rental vacancies and strong local economies that attract new employees.

“As with the for-sale market, supply of single-family rentals saw very low levels in February, putting upward pressure on the cost of both for-sale and for-rent homes,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. “Phoenix had rapid rent increases in February with only 1.9 months of single-family rentals available. On the other hand, Miami, which had the slowest rent increases, had 7.6 months of single-family rentals available.”