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Rents Jump to New Record Once Again

May 19, 2022

The rental market boom continues, and renters are paying a lot more. The U.S. median rental price reached a new high in April—$1,827, realtor.com® reports. Rents have maintained their record-breaking streak that began in January 2021.

“April data illustrates the perfect storm of supply and demand dynamics behind the continued rent surge, from a low number of available rentals to higher for-sale housing costs forcing many would-be buyers to rent for longer than planned,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Renters are being left with few options to meet higher rents and, in some cases, even offer above asking—whether they can afford to or not.”

Rents are maxing out household budgets and likely will continue to do so. Hale predicts the typical U.S. asking rent to reach $2,000 by August.

Studio rents are growing at the fastest year-over-year pace, up 17.2%, followed by a 15.9% increase for two-bedroom units and a 15.6% increase for one-bedroom units. The rise in studios “is largely due to the ongoing rental market comeback in major downtowns where smaller living spaces are common,” realtor.com® notes in its report. Studio rents posted double-digit gains in April in ten of the biggest tech hubs, led by New York City, Boston, and Austin, Texas.

Renters are feeling the strain across the country. Sixty-six percent of renters said in April that higher rents and related household costs are their top cause of financial strain, ahead of expenses like food, groceries, and transportation. Higher rents also are limiting their ability to save. More than three-quarters of renters said they’ve been able to save less each month than a year ago.

“Our survey data underscores how renters and landlords alike are feeling the squeeze of inflation and higher costs,” says Ryan Coon, Avail co-founder and vice president of rentals at realtor.com®. “For renters, in particular, many may understandably feel caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Among major metros, the five markets that posted the largest overall rental price gains in April year over year were all located in the Sun Belt: Miami (15.6%); Orlando, Fla. (32.9%); Tampa, Fla. (27.8%); San Diego (25.6%); and Las Vegas (24.8%).

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