[New Report] Rent Decreases Accelerate Into Late Spring 2018

While 2017 saw substantial one-bedroom apartment rent increases, the decline that began in February 2018 has accelerated as the May national median one-bedroom rent price has fallen by just over one percentage point, and is now $1,015, compared to $1,046 in January 2018. This represents the fourth straight month of declining prices.

National Median Rent May 2018

Although two-bedroom units saw significant rent hikes in 2017, the May national median two-bedroom price also took its biggest dip in 2018, now at $1,230 — almost a two percent drop since January 2018.

1-Bedroom Apartments

Despite the nationwide rent price downturn, some local areas continue to buck the trend. Last month’s winner, Dayton, OH, continued its red-hot rental price growth with another 7.6 percent increase.

Tempe, AZ saw a 5.7 percent jump, and Fort Worth, TX, Madison WI, and New Haven, CT all posted increases in the 4 percent range.

Continuing their 2018 upward trends, Denton, TX, Las Vegas, NV, and Columbus, OH boasted 3.0 to 3.8 percent increases, and Green Bay, WI and Dallas, TX rounded out the top-10 list with more modest 2.5 to 2.8 percent increases.

Greatest Median One-Bedroom Rent Changes May 2018

As in April, however, Syracuse, NY continued to lead the pack in rent decreases as the city logged another 11.2 percent downturn on top of April’s 13.1 percent decline. One-bedroom seekers can now find a Syracuse apartment for just $797.

Boulder, CO and St. Paul, MN posted at least a 10 percent drop, with Eugene, OR, Columbia MO, Orlando, FL and Oklahoma City, OK all reporting a 5.2 to 5.8 percent median rent decline.

Even May’s top-10 bottom third rent decliners showed lower rates in the 4 percent range with Minneapolis, MN dropping 4.7 percent, Philadelphia, PA falling 4.3 percent and Washington, DC declining 4.2 percent.

2-Bedroom Apartments

Significant weakness was still seen in certain two-bedroom markets as the New Orleans, LA median two-bedroom rent price deflated another 7.1 percent in May to $1,695. Boulder, CO followed closely behind with a 6.6 percent decrease, and rounding out the top three decliners was St. Paul MN, falling 5.4 percent to $1,398.

Warm weather Houston saw the largest rent increase to $1,549 with a May gain of 4.1 percent. Texas neighbors Denton and Dallas both became more expensive for two-bedroom renters with rises of 2.8 and 2.3 percent respectively.

In all, the top ten increasers showed a relatively tight range of 2.3 to 4.1 percent.

Greatest Median Two-Bedroom Rent Changes May 2018

Tipping the total picture to the downside, New Orleans, LA led the decliners with a large drop of 7.1 percent to a still hefty $1,695. Boulder, CO followed, losing 6.6 percent, and three Florida cities, St Petersburg, Jacksonville and Gainesville all fell from 4.9 to 5.4 percent. Interestingly, Tallahassee, FL still looks like a great value at $959, down 3.5 percent from April.

Finally, the top ten average median decliners led the top ten median increasers 5.0 percent to 2.95 percent respectively, showing a still deteriorating 2018 trend.

While the traditionally strong summer rental season is quickly approaching, renters may be happier than landlords if the above statistics continue to validate next month.

For press inquiries, contact contact Sam Radbil.


Each month, using over 1 million 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.