[NATIONAL REPORT] Have Rent Prices Stabilized Nationwide?

We previously indicated that in July, the 2018 rent decrease trend had reversed, and we watched that continue into September. Our October rent report for 2018 brings us different news, however, as median national one-bedroom units decreased a possibly insignificant .2 percent but decreased nevertheless.

National Median Rent September 2018

Two-bedroom units posted a more interesting 2.7 percent loss as the national median two-bedroom apartment unit price dropped from September’s $1,294, to October’s $1,269.

1-Bedroom Apartments

Last month we thought Milwaukee might be an anomaly, but Beer City rents are on fire, with one bedrooms climbing a startling 12 percent. The closest gainer was Las Vegas, NV, reporting a median October rent of $1,298, a gain of 11.1 percent. Incidentally, it now It costs only approximately $100 more per month to live in Las Vegas than to live in Milwaukee.

Dayton, OH, and Los Angeles, CA matched with 5.3 percent increases. Note, however that Dayton’s median $971 price is just about tripled by LA’s $2,852.

Pittsburgh, PA and Boulder, CO showed gains from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent respectively, and Columbus, OH, Winston-Salem, NC and Scottsdale, AZ reported rises on the 3.3 to 3.9 percent range.

Spring training haven Chandler, AZ rounded out the top ten one-bedroom apartment rent increasers with a modest rise of 2.8 percent.

Greatest Median One-Bedroom Rent Changes September 2018

Charleston, SC led the pack here with a big 8.1 percent decrease from $1,388 in September to $1,276 in October.

As the Packers play poorly, the Green Bay, WI rents seem to follow as Titletown one-bedroom rents fell 4.6 percent.

Denver, CO, Jacksonville, FL and Savannah, GA all fell in the 4 percent to mid-4 percent range, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL was just behind with a 3.9 percent decrease.

The last four losers were tightly packed with losses of 2.9 to 3.2 percent, and those cities were St. Petersburg, FL, Gainesville, FL, Fort Worth, TX and Detroit, MI.

2-Bedroom Apartments

In September the Las Vegas, NV median two-bedroom rent was $1,461, and in October it has climbed significantly to $1,612—an increase of 10.3 percent. Long Beach, CA and Scottsdale, AZ weren’t far behind with rises of 8.9 and 9.7 percent respectively.

Dayton, OH and our one-bedroom champion, Milwaukee, WI increased between 5.6 and 6.4 percent.

The bottom five top ten increasers were Chandler, AZ, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Louisville, KY, and Tallahassee, FL all in the 3.3 to 3.9 percent range. Of these, Tallahassee is the cheapest place to live with an attractive median rent of $949.

Greatest Median Two-Bedroom Rent Changes September 2018

The Big Easy led decliners as the October New Orleans, LA median rent of $1,744 was 4.9 percent less than September’s $1,833.

Buffalo, NY was next with a modest 4.3 percent loss, followed by Denver, CO with a 4 percent decrease.

Charleston, SC, St Louis, MO and Baton Rouge, LA all posted losses of 3.7 or 3.8 percent.

The bottom four dippers were tightly bunched as Detroit, MI, Santa Ana, CA, Pittsburgh, PA and Tempe, AZ reported a range of decreases from 2.6 to 2.9 percent.

October Recap: What This Means

Last month we wondered if the upward trend would continue, and even though October has shown a slight reversal, we are still looking upward as the Fed on September 26th again raised interest rates.

The economy is hot, unemployment is low, and inflation is beginning a more rapid increase. All these factors lead us to believe that rents are not going to fall swiftly any time soon.

Tune in next month to see if November’s data validates our prognostication.

For press inquiries, please 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.