National rent grew during March after eight months of declines, increasing 1.1 percent year over year, according to a new report from realtor.com released Tuesday.
The U.S. median rent (calculated as an average of the median rents in the 50 largest metros) during March was $1,463. Back in July 2020, national rent growth was at 2.2 percent, but slowed over the course of several months to just 0.6 percent in February.
“Although we’re still below the 3.2 percent growth we were seeing before COVID, average rent growth in the nation’s largest housing markets saw its first uptick since July 2020, and rents are poised to rise at a quickening pace as recovery continues,” Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, said in a statement. “However, rents are not rising in all markets. The tech markets and several big metros like Chicago and Los Angeles continue to see rent declines, but generally at a slower pace than in recent months, which could signal a turnaround in the coming months.”
Rents may be showing positive signs now as demand for rentals increases. Some buyers continue to decide to opt out of this year’s for-sale market amid interest rates that have gradually continued to tick upwards and rising home prices that have hit record highs in recent months. Not to mention steep competition due to widespread low inventory.
New Orleans led the U.S. in year-over-year rent growth, with median rent up 15.6 percent from the previous year to $1,305. Following New Orleans, Riverside, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Sacramento, California, all also saw rent growth of more than 10 percent from the year before.
Meanwhile, the country’s tech hubs and other major metro areas saw some of the greatest rent declines during March. San Jose, California, led the way with a median rent decline of 14.1 percent year over year, followed by significant declines in San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Boston, Massachusetts; and Washington, D.C.