National Average Rent Inches Up by $3 Per Month

The increase in national average rents slowed to a crawl in July but year-over-year rates are up 3.4%.

As the peak rental season is nears its end, the Rent Cafe reports Apartment Rent Increases Lose Steam.

Key Takeaways

  • The national average rent reached $1,469 in July, up by 3.4% ($48) year-over-year, and 0.2% ($3) month-over-month, according to data from Yardi Matrix.
  • 64% of the 260 cities included have rents below the national average, while 36% have average rents above.
  • The average rent in the country’s most affordable city, Wichita, KS, reached $660, while the average rent in Manhattan was $4,222.
  • July displayed the slowest month-over-month increase since February, which at 0.2% is a clear signal that peak rental season is nearing its end. The trend is in line with last year’s data – once the busy late spring to early summer period winds down, rents are expected to slow their growth throughout the rest of the year.
  • Only 8 out of the 260 cities in the study saw month-over-month jumps of more than 1%.

Rental Market Report

California and the mid-Atlantic states lead the way in high rental prices.


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CPI OER and Rent

Rent Cafe vs BLS Year-Over-Year

  • Rent Cafe: +3.4%
  • CPI Primary Rent: +3.8%
  • CPI Owners Equivalent Rent OER: +3.4%

The Rent Cafe is inline with the BLS on rental prices.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (10)
No. 1-5

In addition to the price of computers rising like crazy, their speed and memory is also decreasing year over year. Or was that prices and sizes of housing? Same story regardless: People getting poorer and more desperate as the country is doing its best to keep up with the Maduros.


One of the things that's driving rent up is Section 8. I'm an American citizen and lived in the USA until 2006. In Nashville, I could easily find apartments and they were affordable. I lived in Asia for nine years and when I returned, my former employer in Nashville offered me my old job, which I accepted. Most apartment complexes that I went to said they had apartments available, but I couldn't have one since I was making over the $28,000 Section 8 limit. These were very nice apartments too. It was so bad that I couldn't find a place and my boss and an operations manager were offering to let me stay with them at their houses until I could find a place that rents to non-welfare people. I eventually returned to Asia since I can find apartments here. I don't know what the US governments motive is in turning apartments into Section 8 projects. Is it to shoehorn non-welfare people into houses? It seems to benefit only the welfare class and the real estate industrial complex at the expense of ordinary Americans. In the long run, it worked out for the better since I had to have an emergency appendectomy and I was lucky to be in South Korea where the surgery and three nights in the hospital were only $300. Anyway, I think Section 8 is one of the big things that is driving up rent costs through the laws of supply and demand.


In my city, I see many, many huge complexes being built, all over town. That tells me that the vacancy rate is low (for now). Meanwhile, the city is not growing, and we are reaching a point at which millennials may being family formation and prefer homes. Also, we should see empty nest baby boomers start selling their big homes, and moving into something smaller. Will the boomers move into apartment mega-plexes? I doubt it. I kind of expect to see falling high-end home prices combined with construction of high-end duplexes and similar, plus a shortage of lower end homes, combined with a glut of apartments.


Many economy watchers claim that any economic crisis will result in massive deflation but hidden forces may prove them very wrong. One place inflation has been most obvious is in the replacement cost of buildings and infrastructure destroyed or damaged by natures fury. The article below looks at several trends which point to the reality we should expect rents and housing cost to edge higher in the future.


Everyone in Los Angeles is tapped out. I just don't see much more headroom for anything (that is tied to actual market forces) to continue to go up in cost.