Rent Prices Showing Strong Growth

Rent Prices Showing Strong Growth

Fewer rental listings nationwide are advertising concessions – move-in specials such as rent discounts, gift cards, ride share offers or free streaming services – than one year ago, according to a new HotPads® analysis.

Across the U.S., the number of rental listings on HotPads mentioning at least one concession has decreased 29.4% from this time last year. Renters will find a move-in special in fewer than 1 in 100 rental listings on HotPads.

Nationally, rent prices are seeing strong growth after slowing in 2018. The same factors driving this growth – primarily that demand for rentals is outstripping available supply – may also lead to fewer concessions being offered as landlords need less of an incentive to attract new tenants. As we enter the summer season, which typically brings an increase in rental demand, this trend will likely continue.

In San FranciscoSan AntonioBaltimore and Washington, D.C., the number of rental listings with concessions has fallen by more than half over the past year. Rent prices are growing faster than this time a year ago in each of these markets.

“The fall in concessions over the past year is consistent with the rental market beginning to heat up again. This potentially signals more rent growth is to come, as landlords not only reduce incentives to move but also increase prices,” said HotPads Economist Joshua Clark. “Of course, all real estate is local and deals are becoming more common in some places.

More important for renters than chasing a move-in special is finding a place that meets enough of your needs and wants at a monthly rate you can afford. While these types of specials can bring savings in the short term, those can be quickly erased if concessions expire after one year or with the cost of another move.”

Not all markets are seeing fewer deals than they did last year. The number of rental listings offering concessions has more than tripled in Orlando, and more than doubled in AtlantaBoston and San JoseOrlando’s rental market has cooled since late last year, while Boston still has a low share of move-in specials overall – just above half the national average. Atlanta’s jump in concessions came despite being one of the hottest rental markets in the country amid the area’s surge in construction.

Landlords are offering price breaks most often in PortlandLouisvilleAtlanta and Los Angeles. Renters in LouisvilleAtlanta and Los Angeles can expect to find a move-in special in about 1 in 50 listings – more than double the national average. Portland renters have an even greater likelihood, as about 1 in 30 rental listings there offer a concession.

Metropolitan 
Area

Change in Rental 
Listings Advertising 
Concessions, YoY

Percentage of Rental 
Listings Advertising a 
Concession

Median 
Rent

Median 
Rent YOY 
Change

United States

-29.4%

0.9%

$1,540

3.2%

New York, NY

-1.9%

1.6%

$2,390

1.5%

Los Angeles, CA

77.3%

2.0%

$2,975

3.7%

Chicago, IL

-17.1%

0.7%

$1,795

2.0%

Dallas, TX

18.6%

1.8%

$1,690

2.7%

Philadelphia, PA

45.1%

0.7%

$1,695

2.4%

Houston, TX

-35.4%

1.3%

$1,590

1.0%

Washington, D.C.

-58.2%

0.9%

$2,190

1.9%

Miami, FL

16.1%

0.6%

$2,045

2.5%

Atlanta, GA

156.3%

2.2%

$1,500

5.3%

Boston, MA

142.1%

0.5%

$2,440

2.5%

San Francisco, CA

-76.1%

0.6%

$3,550

3.5%

Detroit, MI

86.3%

1.0%

$1,315

3.1%

Phoenix, AZ

0.8%

1.6%

$1,535

6.2%

Seattle, WA

-40.1%

1.0%

$2,260

3.7%

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

-36.9%

1.0%

$1,710

3.3%

San Diego, CA

81.5%

1.0%

$2,760

4.0%

Baltimore, MD

-59.9%

0.9%

$1,755

1.4%

Denver, CO

-3.1%

1.8%

$2,135

3.6%

Portland, OR

59.2%

3.3%

$1,960

2.9%

Charlotte, NC

44.4%

0.5%

$1,410

4.4%

San Antonio, TX

-60.9%

0.6%

$1,400

2.6%

Orlando, FL

236.3%

0.7%

$1,555

4.7%

Kansas City, MO

-2.1%

1.4%

$1,265

2.4%

Columbus, OH

-30.8%

1.6%

$1,465

3.9%

San Jose, CA

103.6%

1.3%

$3,745

3.6%

Austin, TX

-13.0%

0.7%

$1,770

3.2%

Providence, RI

46.6%

1.4%

$1,815

4.0%

Louisville, KY

-21.1%

2.2%

$1,145

2.7%

Raleigh, NC

26.8%

1.3%

$1,490

2.8%

Salt Lake City, UT

38.5%

1.7%

$1,635

4.1%

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After earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida, Tracey set out in the real world at Florida Realtors in 1994 as a communication assistant, working her way up to editor in chief of Florida Realtor magazine. In 2004, she left the association to start her freelance writing and editing business. One of her first clients was REAL Trends, and she started working for the organization in 2005. In 2014, Tracey was promoted to editor in chief of publications for REAL Trends. She handles the writing and editing of all REAL Trends publications and marketing materials, including LORE Magazine, the REAL Trends newsletter and the blog. She is also the primary podcast interviewer where she conducts interviews with top real estate industry leaders and affiliated industry leaders. Tracey is married with two children.

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