Markets & Economy

Markets in West and Sunbelt drive rent increases

Demand for higher-end product among reasons cited

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Average rents in the U.S. rose 6.3 percent in the past 12 months to an all-time high of $1,150. According to a monthly survey conducted to Yardi, rents also rose by 1.3 percent month over month in June. West Coast and Sunbelt markets are largely responsible for the overall growth in year-to-year rents. Spanning June 2014 to June 2015, rents have risen by a nation-leading 15.1 percent in Portland, Oregon. Jacksonville, Florida, ranks second with 13.2 percent growth. Denver (12.4 percent growth), San Francisco (11.6 percent) and Sacramento (11 percent) round out the top five best-performing markets. Atlanta and Seattle both saw more than 8 percent growth. Some of these top markets -- or submarkets within these markets -- still present opportunities to developers, as they are undersupplied. Yardi cites Sacramento, suburban Atlanta and the Seattle submarket of Tacoma as underserved locales. During the past 12 months, Sacramento has added only 1,443 units. In suburba...