National Average Rent Up Again in 2019: 92% of Largest 253 Cities Have Increase


Rents are up again in 2019 according to the Rent Cafe.

The RentCafe reports the Average National Apartment Rent Kicks Off the Spring Rental Season at $1,430.

Key Findings

The national average rent was $1,430 in March 2019, 3.2% ($44) higher than this time last year, according to data from Yardi Matrix.

  • 92% of the country’s largest 253 cities have seen rents grow in March year-over-year, 6% of rents remained unchanged, while 2% of cities experienced rent drops compared to 2018.
  • The fastest and the slowest y-o-y rent changes occurred in small Texas cities — Midland (14.6%) and Odessa (13.3%) are the only cities with increases of over 10%, while Pearland is the only one where rent decreased by more than 2%.
  • The early beginning of the rental season saw rent prices increase by 3.2% over the year — the lowest annual growth we’ve seen in more than 6 months.
  • Compared to last year’s figure, the March average national rent of $1,430/month is $44 higher. Month-over-month, however, we witnessed a 0.3% rise, or $4 more added to average rent prices. This is consistent to last spring’s growth levels, signaling the end of the sluggish winter season.

Largest Cities

Phoenix and Las Vegas Top the List

Aggressive increases in the Southwest have kept Phoenix and Las Vegas at the top of the list when it comes to rent growth in the past year, 7.8%, which translates into $75 and $76 more per month, respectively. Apartments in Jacksonville, FL come in third with a 6.3% ($64) increase accounting for a monthly average rent of $1,074. LA, where the average rent price is $2,469 following a 5.6% increase that means $130 more per month. Apartments in Memphis, TN now go for $39 more than in March 2018: $790/month after a 5.2% increase. It’s important to note that, compared to this time last year, San Francisco, CA had the highest net increase among large cities – the average rent of $3,619 means new renters would have to pay $153 more than what they would’ve 12 months ago.

The weakest increases happened in Houston, TX(0.9%), followed by Manhattan and Portland, OR, both witnessing a 1.6% y-o-y increase. Rents in Queens reached $2,268 after a 1.8% y-o-y increase, and Boston, MA saw a 2% increase compared to last year, which brought the average rent price here to $3,343.

Year-Over-Year Wage Growth

Let's review the wage growth numbers as noted in my most recent Jobs report: Wild Job Fluctuations Again - Payrolls Rose by 196K but Employment Fell by 200K.

  • All Private Nonfarm from $26.84 to $27.70, a gain of 3.2%
  • All production and supervisory from $22.49 to $23.24, a gain of 3.3%.

The Fed

The Fed, Keynesian clowns, and the Bloomberg Econoday writers want more inflation. They are all nuts.

Ask any renter if they want prices to keep going up.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-11

Over the last few decades, a great amount of wealth flowing into paper promises rather than tangible assets has masked true inflation but it is everywhere. This means that while many economy watchers tout the line any economic crisis will result in massive defaults and deflation hidden forces may prove them very wrong.

One place it is most obvious is apparent 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.


I think both the volatility and the over-regulation of real estate has landed us in a situation where its risky to build and safer to buy up existing rental stock. Follows the trend of "financialization" of our economy with "rentiers" stripping capital from everybody. Also from demographic viewpoint a lot of boomer households have become empty nests so to speak, a married late middle age couple living in a three or four bedroom house. I see a lot of this in my circle.


I guess if any "political topic" deserves to be seen in terms of medians versus averages, this is it. One $100,000 a month rent will skew all these averages.


could it be immigration that is keeping rents so buoyant ? of course the feds policies haven't helped. but there may be a complementary cause . jus say'n


It's called supply and demand. Rents are set at what the market can bear. Maybe the section 8 crowd should learn marketable skills, stop having litters of kids and get an education. We have certain types of people who play professional victim and constantly blame others for their poor life choices