Single-family rent growth more than doubles in April

Rents grew more than 5% annually, a 15-year high

(Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

April showers bring May flowers — but this year, daffodils aren’t the only things sprouting in your yard. Rents are growing through the roof.

This April, single-family rental prices jumped by more than 5 percent year over year, according to new data from CoreLogic. Rents grew by just 2.4 percent in the same time span in April 2020, meaning the growth rate has more than doubled since early in the pandemic.

The annual increase was the largest for single-family rents in almost 15 years. In lower-priced rentals, where rent is 75 percent of the regional median or less, rates also grew faster than they did a year ago.

Rent growth was particularly sharp for detached single-family homes — almost four times the rate of attached homes in April. With outdoor space commanding a premium for pandemic-weary Americans, detached single-family homes saw rents grow 8 percent year-over-year in April 2021.

As aging millennials start looking for houses but find few on the market and breakneck competition for anything worth buying, many are opting to rent. With such heightened demand for single-family rentals, developers have poured billions into so-called “build for rent” communities. .

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In high-priced homes, or those worth more than 125 percent of an area’s median price, rent grew 6 percent in April 2021, compared to just 2 percent the prior year.

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Phoenix, Arizona soared above the rest of the pack, with 12 percent annual growth in its single-family rental prices. Overall, the southwest led the country, with Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas nabbing the two and three spots on the list, respectively.

While almost every city surveyed experienced growth, Boston actually saw rental prices dip in April, falling almost 6 percent in the last year.

“While rent growth slowed last April at the start of the pandemic, the rate of rent growth this April was running above pre-pandemic levels even when compared with 2019 and shows no signs of diminishing,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic, in a statement.

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