National median rent hits $2K for first time

Rising mortgages keeping would-be buyers in rentals: Redfin

A photo illustration of rising rents nationwide (iStock)
A photo illustration of rising rents nationwide (iStock)

It’s not just Manhattan: rent is skyrocketing everywhere, surpassing a national benchmark in May for the first time.

The national median asking rent was $2,002 last month, marking the first time it surpassed $2,000, according to a report from Redfin. It was a 2 percent gain from April, but a much more significant 15.2 percent rise year over year.

Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr noted that rising mortgage rates are keeping would-be homebuyers in the rental market, as mortgage payments have outpaced rent payments for many.

The pace of rental growth is showing some signs of relief, though. The 15 percent gain year-over-year matched the annual rise seen in April. Rents rose 17 percent in March, suggesting rental growth is slowing.

Slowing growth is not the same thing as declining asks, though.

“Although we expect rent price growth to continue to slow in the coming months, it will likely remain high, causing ongoing affordability issues for renters,” Marr said.

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Nowhere have rents skyrocketed more than in Austin, Texas. In May, asking rents surged 48 percent year-over-year, 16 percentage points higher than the next closest metro, Nashville. The 48 percent increase was the largest for a single month since the beginning of 2019. Austin’s median asking rent last month was $2,707.

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South Florida has also seen major surges year over year. The median asking rent jumped 29 percent annually in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The median asking rents in those markets was $3,157.

Rents are also on the rise across the tristate area. Rents surged 24 percent in New York City, Long Island’s Nassau County, and New Jersey’s Newark and New Brunswick. Last month, the median rent in Manhattan hit $4,000 for the first time, according to a monthly report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.

Those markets were the most expensive in the nation by median asking rent last month, edging out Boston ($3,970).

Other major markets had more moderate rent growth. In San Francisco, median rent rose 16.6 percent to $3,752. In Houston, rent jumped 16.1 percent to $1,822. Chicago’s median asking rent rose 6.6 percent to $2,454 and the median rent in Los Angeles hit $3,400 on the dot last month, but only rose 9.6 percent.

Among the 50 largest metro areas, there are only three where rents declined year over year. Milwaukee had a 10 percent drop in May, while Kansas City and Minneapolis each had 3 percent drops. All of those markets also had rents fall year over year in April.