• Yardi reported national average rent prices increased 5 percent in August compared with the same month last year.
  • In June 2016, year-over-year job growth was just 0.3 percent in the Houston metro.
  • Houston rent growth is mostly concentrated in the high end of the market.

The multifamily rental market is starting to reflect the introduction of fall, cooling off but still growing. According to the Yardi Matrix Monthly report, which is a monthly measurement of 120 U.S. markets, August marked the eighth consecutive month of record rent prices.

Annually, national rent prices were up 5 percent but slipped 50 basis points from the previous month.


Sacramento was on one end of the spectrum, while Houston was on the other. Sacramento rent prices increased 11.9 percent annually, while Houston rent prices hardly moved from where they were in August 2015.

Orange County and Las Vegas were closest to the national average of 5 percent year-over-year rent growth.


When looking at the trailing annual year-over-year price changes, which is an average calculation of rent changes over a year, the national trailing 12-month change was 6 percent. Portland had the biggest jump, at 12.5 percent.

In the 12-month trailing, Houston ranked in the last spot once again for the lifestyle asset class. However, the metro saw gains just below 6 percent for the renter-by necessity asset class, suggesting the slowdown in the rental market here could be fueled by a slowdown in higher end rental properties.

Rental market and economic conditions

Yardi experts report the forecasted rent growth for 2016 at 4.5 percent, and year-to-date stats are proving to be pretty strong. Job and income growth is certainly having a hand in the process, which is between about 2 percent and 3 percent, the report shows.

Naturally, regions seeing the quickest pull-back in rent growth are those that are seeing the slowest job growth, according to the report. Some areas that have seen extreme growth in recent years may start to pull back and moderate, like Portland, Austin and San Francisco.

houston rent


Houston has been at the bottom of Yardi’s totem poll for rent growth, as the chart above details a fairly dramatic fall in growth in 2015 and 2016. By the end of 2016, forecast rent growth is expected to be 3.4 percent.

However, the main cause for concern in Houston is job growth, the report says. The metro saw the smallest gain of those studied in job growth, with a 0.3 percent year-over-year rise in June 2016, which is a six-month moving average. The metro also saw 2.7 percent of its completions of the total stock of homes as of August.

Occupancy in Houston hasn’t slipped in July 2016, with 94 percent of rentals occupied in both June and July 2016.

Email Kimberly Manning

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