[Rent Report] August Rents Climb Sharply

Last month our prediction was, “Look for summer one and two-bedroom rent price increases to continue,” and that’s just what we saw. August one-bedroom units rocketed up almost 2.5 percent from July while two-bedrooms gained almost 2 percent.

One-bedrooms are now up 5.87 percent for the year and two-bedrooms have risen 4.87 percent.

Let’s analyze our August stats.

1-Bedroom Apartments

Our top-ten gainers showed a wider range with the winner almost breaking into double digits. Even our 10th place city posted a gain of well over 4 percent.

Upward Movers

Charleston, SC led our one-bedroom gainers list with a substantial 9.96 percent gain to a median $1,491. Chandler AZ followed with a 6.19 percent gain, Santa Ana, CA rose another 6.11 percent, and Savannah, GA pushed upward by 5.99 percent to a median $1,186. Atlanta, GA rose 5.82 percent on top of July’s 5.79 percent to a median $1,837. Atlanta is very large, so rent prices pushing upward isn’t a shock. 

Price gains on our list after those five cities were as robust as our reported July gains.

Tampa FL added 5.47 percent, Glendale, AZ rose 5.39 percent to a median $1,036, and Phoenix, AZ posted a 5.31 percent jump.

Finally, Scottsdale, AZ and Boulder, CO reported respective gains of 5.27 and 4.30 percent.

The most expensive one-bedroom on our gainers list was again Santa Ana, CA at a median $2,152 while the most affordable was Glendale, AZ barely over the $1,000 mark at $1,036. No city on August’s top ten gainers list reported median rent under $1,000.

Downward Movers

Norfolk, VA saw its one-bedroom median rent fall with a loss of 6.92 percent to $1,089. Philadelphia, PA fell another 6.63 percent, and recent loser Milwaukee, WI took third place with a 3.21 percent loss. Durham, NC was next, but with a smaller 3.10 percent drop to $1,095.

Cincinnati, OH lost 2.20 percent, Dayton OH sunk 2.10 percent and Wichita, KS dropped 2.10 percent. Long Beach, CA fell to $1,629—a loss of 2.04 percent. Chicago, IL dropped 1.79 percent to settle at a median $1,537–continuing its recent weakness–and St. Louis, MO dropped 1.68 percent to settle at a July median rent of $1,023.

Again, San Francisco, CA was conspicuously absent from our top ten losers list, continuing to hold its ground for another month after a long period of decline.

Those looking for pure value should head to Wichita, KS where a median one-bedroom apartment rented for only $607. Long Beach, CA was the priciest one-bedroom on our losers list at $1,629.

2-Bedroom Apartments

Two-bedroom units reported a tiny spread of less than 2 percent between first and worst increasers. Our top ten losers also showed a muted difference between first and tenth place losses—about 2.5 percent.

Upward Movers

Three of our top ten two-bedroom gainers were in Arizona this month.

Santa Ana, CA led the gainers with a big upward move of 6.38 percent to $3,000. Santa Ana is up almost 15 percent over the last two months. Eugene, OR placed second on our list rising 5.78 percent, Memphis, TN added a healthy 572 percent and Scottsdale, AZ gained 5.60 percent at a median $1,942.

Chandler, AZ reported a rise of 5.56 percent. Baton Rouge, LA moved upward by 5.37 percent and Phoenix, AZ, at a median $1,596 gained an even 5 percent.

San Francisco, CA is back as it added a solid 4.97 percent, Orlando, FL tacked on 4.91 percent, and finally, Buffalo, NY reported a median June two-bedroom rent of $1,362 — a 4.53 percent increase.

Baton Rouge, LA reported the cheapest two-bedroom median rent on our gainers list at $1,119 while Santa Ana, CA took the prize for the priciest at the aforementioned median rent price of $3,000.

Downward Movers

Columbus GA’s two-bedroom median rent fell 4.82 percent to $908. Syracuse, NY lost 4.71 percent to settle at $1,557. New Haven, CT dropped 4.54 percent, and Milwaukee, WI moved downward again to a median $1,289.

Long Beach, CA dropped 3.97 percent, and Sacramento, CA fell 3.23 percent to a median June two-bedroom rent of $1,888. Gainesville, FL and College Station, TX lost 2.93 and 2.64 percent respectively; Chicago, IL sunk to $1850—a fall of 2.53 percent, and Bakersfield, CA lost 2.28 percent.

College Station, TX was a great two-bedroom value at only $812, and Long Beach, CA was the most expensive at $2,127.

Rent Report Recap & What’s Next?

The delta variant is rampant and there are fears of more lockdowns as the fall season beckons along with the start of school. So far, governments are not keen to introduce stringent new restrictions on businesses or public behavior, but if pandemic cases keep rising at their current alarming rate, all bets are off.

Inflation still looks at least moderate, and while the stock market and oil prices have backed off a little, few would call equities or energy cheap.

The housing market seems to have taken a pause — even in the top cities for millennial owners — as frenzied multiple offer situations in many parts of the country have lessened. On the rental front, eviction prohibitions are beginning to come to an end.

One big question is whether a wave of evictions and subsequent empty apartments will cause a supply imbalance in favor of renters. And what will happen to the evicted renters?  An eviction can be akin to the death penalty when looking for a new place to live.

The pandemic has been a journey into the great unknown, and the coming months bring more questions than answers regarding nation median rent trends.

Be sure to check in next month.


Each month, using millions of Rentable listings across the United States, we calculate the median 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom rent prices by city, state, and nation, and track the month-over-month percent change. To avoid small sample sizes, we restrict the analysis for our reports to cities meeting minimum population and property count thresholds.

For press inquiries, please contact Sam Radbil.