August Rents Rose in 89% of Top 252 Cities: Fastest Pace in 18 Months

Apartment construction is down. Rent prices are up. That's the message in 89% of the top 252 US markets.

The RentCafe reports August Rents Rose at the Fastest Pace in 18 Months, as Apartment Construction Slows

Key Points

  • Rents push forward in August, rising by 3.1%, the fastest annual increase in 18 months.
  • The national average rent reached an all-time high of $1,412 in August 2018, up by 3.1 percent ($42) year over year, and by 0.1 percent ($2) month over month.
  • Rents increased in 89 percent of the nations biggest 252 cities in August (including newly added Queens, NY and Honolulu, HI), stayed flat in 10 percent of cities, and dropped in only 1 percent of cities compared to August 2017.
  • Queens (NYC), Las Vegas, and Phoenix rents increased the most in one year, while Baltimore, San Antonio, and Washington, DC rents have changed the least among the nations largest cities.

National Rent Changes

Large City Rent Changes

Top and Bottom Ten

Mega-Hub Rent Prices

The above charts reflect the silliness of computing national average inflation measures such as the CPI. If you live in LA, Chicago, Orlando, Tampa, or Denver, you know first hand the CPI is understated.

So does anyone who buys their own medical insurance.

And the BLS does not factor in rising home prices or asset prices.

The Fed blew multiple bubbles, and they will all pop.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-8

What is driving up the price of rent? Is this purely a demand-side problem or are their costs (property taxes, etc) pushing the rents up?


Renters, like tax payers have limits. Bubbles in sectors like tech and RE pail in comparison to the govt debt bubble. It's CONgress that deserves the primary blame, not the Fed.


Figure if your rent is $2k/month, that's $24k after tax. $3k/month comes out to $36k after tax. If you are not making at least $100k, you can't afford a 1-bedroom apt in Calif. This is why so many people are homeless.

Speaking of San Mateo, CA, a town about 10 miles from where I live - there have been numerous articles in the paper about limiting rents and of course, the landlords are up in arms, complaining that they can barely keep their heads above water with these current insane rents. And notes that these $3k rents are double what they were 7 years ago or so!


Monthly rents and rental property prices use to be priced at rent x12 x 12. Now we have large numbers of speculators, home flippers and home owners inching up prices fast as possible to get a return. Today you won’t break even on a multi-unit property purchase and with an all cash purchase the return on investment is not good.


But they do do "owners equivalent rent" which is kinda like rent, which has been increasing since 2010 according to your graph, so it's just not increasing fast enough to see, or .... ?