Nineteen of the 20 largest rent increases over the past year occurred in smaller cities, according to a new report released by RENTCafe, using Yardi Matrix data. Cities like Odessa, Texas, and Midland, Texas, are posting rent increases of nearly 40 percent and 36 percent year over year, respectively—the highest in the country.
“The remarkable price rebounds taking place in these two cities are tightly connected to the ups and downs of their oil-centered economies,” RENTCafe notes.
The national average rent was $1,364 in February, 2.7 percent higher than a year ago, the Yardi Matrix data shows. Eighty-seven percent of the nation’s largest 250 cities saw rents grow in February year over year.
“Population migration is occurring to affordable Southern and Southwestern states where economic growth is outpacing Northern regions,” says Doug Ressler, a Yardi Matrix senior analyst. Ressler notes that a recent study shows that people are leaving high-tax coastal markets such as San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles in search of homes in more affordable metros with lower taxes, such as Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Nashville.
Meanwhile, the slowest rental markets in February were Lubbock, Texas, where rents decreased by 4.8 percent year over year, and Norman, Okla., where rents fell 2.7 percent.
Find the average price of rent in your city by viewing an interactive table at RENTCafe.
Source: “February Rents Increased the Most in Small Markets; Colorado Among the Most Active,” RENTCafe Blog (March 13, 2018)