Zumper has all the latest U.S. rental data out today. Below is a summary, and the full story has a table with all the data on all the cities with highest to lowest rent. They also have a number of other good charts showing what is impacting rent prices in key cities.
If the housing story of 2020 was how the pandemic set the sales market on fire, the story of 2021 is how the sales market set the rental market on fire. Zumper’s national index for one-bedrooms has reached a new all-time high in every month of 2021 except April, and two-bedrooms have hit a new all-time high in every month since February.
The median one-bedroom rental price now sits at $1,352, while for two bedrooms it’s $1,663. Since March 2020, one-bedroom rent has risen 10.7 percent, while two bedrooms have risen a whopping 13.1 percent. For context, rent hovered around 1 percent higher during 2020, and in 2019, rent was flat on a year-over-year basis. To have double digit rent growth over the course of a year and a half is a shocking level of growth, especially considering the vast majority of it has come in the last 9 months.
There are a few things driving the growth. First, the hot housing market that’s pushing rent up in Phoenix is doing the same in similar markets where single-family home values have risen rapidly in the aftermath of the pandemic. As prices soar and competition becomes overly intense, people who are at the stage in their life where they’d usually buy a home are priced out or exhausted with the process. They’re building up in the rental market over time and driving up costs.
Second,a number of big cities that saw precipitous rent drops are seeing rent snap back to where it was prior to the pandemic. New York City’s median one-bedroom rent dropped by 17.6 percent between March 2020 and January 2021, but is now up 3.5 percent relative to March 2020. This has played out in a number of East Coast cities, including Miami, Washington, and Boston, although to varying degrees.
Check It Out: