Despite minor relief in one-bedroom prices nationally, the rental market remains red-hot for both apartments and houses. Rental prices for single-family homes are at an all-time high, increasing an average of 7.8 percent in 2021. And while notoriously expensive Los Angeles saw year-over-year decreases in its one-bedroom prices, just to its south the city of Huntington Beach continues to see big increases in both unit types. Of the markets in our rent price trends analysis, 97.7 percent recorded price increases for one-bedrooms and all markets saw increases for two-bedrooms. Let’s look at where rent prices stand today.
City average rent price trends
At the city level, rents are up in most and down in a few. Here are the highs and lows for rent changes in the nation’s 100 largest cities.
One-bedroom city average rent price trends
The following cities have experienced the biggest increases in one-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Six of these cities — Orlando, FL; Huntington Beach, CA; Chandler, AZ; Jersey City, NJ; Irvine, CA and Amarillo, TX — have populations of 300,000 or less.
- Long Beach, CA (+56.7 percent)
- Chandler, AZ (+50.8 percent)
- Amarillo, TX (+46.6 percent)
- Huntington Beach, CA (+44.9 percent)
- Jersey City, NJ (+43.6 percent)
- Orlando, FL (+42.4 percent)
- Irvine, CA (+39.2 percent)
- Austin, TX (+36.9 percent)
- Portland, OR (+34.2 percent)
- Mesa, AZ (+30.6 percent)
The following cities have experienced the biggest decreases in one-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Four of these cities — Toledo, OH; Lincoln, NE; Durham, NC and Madison, WI— have populations of 300,000 or less.
- Kansas City, MO (-19.7 percent)
- Toledo, OH (-18.2 percent)
- Madison, WI (-7.4 percent)
- Indianapolis, IN (-7.1 percent)
- Atlanta, GA (-7.1 percent)
- Lincoln, NE (-6.1 percent)
- Cleveland, OH (-6.0 percent)
- Milwaukee, WI (-5.5 percent)
- Minneapolis, MN (-2.7 percent)
- Durham, NC (-2.6 percent)
Two-bedroom city average rent price trends
The following cities have experienced the biggest increases in two-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Four of these cities — Little Rock, AR; Salt Lake City, UT; Augusta, GA and Fremont, CA— have populations of 300,000 or less.
- Fresno, CA (+71.3 percent)
- Huntington Beach, CA (+55.2 percent)
- Little Rock, AR (+45.0 percent)
- Salt Lake City, UT (+43.2 percent)
- Augusta, GA (+38.7 percent)
- Albuquerque, NM (+38.3 percent)
- Raleigh, NC (+38.2 percent)
- Miami, FL (+36.3 percent)
- Fremont, CA (+34.6 percent)
- San Diego, CA (+34.3 percent)
The following cities have experienced the biggest decreases in two-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Four of these cities — Lincoln, NE; Durham, NC; Baton Rouge, LA and Scottsdale, AZ — have populations of 300,000 or less.
- Kansas City, MO (-23.2 percent)
- Scottsdale, AZ (-18.3 percent)
- Durham, NC (-16.8 percent)
- Anaheim, CA (-10.9 percent)
- Baton Rouge, LA (-8.4 percent)
- Indianapolis, IN (-8.1 percent)
- Milwaukee, WI (-5.6 percent)
- Lincoln, NE (-4.8 percent)
- Saint Paul, MN (-3.8 percent)
- Los Angeles, CA (-3.6 percent)
Overlap cities by average rent prices
Some cities reflect increases or decreases in rent prices across all bedroom types. We call these “overlap cities.”
Only one city in the top 10 has experienced year-over-year price increases in both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments:
Five cities in the top 10 have experienced year-over-year price decreases in both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments:
Rental industry trends
In addition to our pricing trends, here are a few key industry developments:
1. Single-family homes prices soar in the rental market
Apartments aren’t the only property type experiencing inflated rent prices. According to new data released by CoreLogic Inc, single-family rental prices grew an average of 7.8 percent in 2021, an all-time high.
Many renters have put their home buying dreams on pause due to increasing home prices and bidding wars. Redfin shared that the median home price jumped 14 percent year-over-year in January while active listings remain low. But renting a home may prove just as hard as some rentals are receiving as many as 20 applications in a single day on the market.
“I literally have people begging me to get them a rental,” Atlanta real-estate agent Jamie Douglas told Bloomberg. “It’s just so crazy down here.”
2. Inflation creating further hardship for tenants
On top of rising rents, tenants are also facing higher prices at grocery stores and in their utility bills. That’s according to the latest inflation numbers from the Labor Department, which put year-over-year inflation at 7.5 percent, the highest since January 1982. Groceries are up almost eight percent and electricity prices are more than 10 percent higher than in 2021.
“They have to pay for their rent. They have to go to the grocery store,” Sarah House of Wells Fargo told NPR. “So, what we’re seeing is this inflation environment in many ways is continuing to bite even worse than when we saw bigger monthly gains back in the spring when it was used cars and some increase in recreation. These are purchases that consumers can’t avoid.”