America's Fastest-Growing Rental Markets Are All Over the Map
While nationwide rent growth remained fairly moderate in June, prices in some cities skyrocketed. Jonas Bordo of Dwellsy shares which 20 cities have the fastest-growing rents in America. Spoiler alert: They’re all over the map!
Fayetteville, North Carolina. Charleston, West Virginia. Jefferson City, Missouri. Fargo, North Dakota. Ellensburg, Washington. At first glance, this list might look like an off-the-beaten-path road trip across America. And it could be—if your objective is to see some of the cities where rent is rising the fastest.
Okay, okay—it’s not an itinerary most people would choose, admits Dwellsy CEO and cofounder Jonas Bordo. But it does highlight the fact that some of the hottest rental markets are spread all around the USA—and they’re not necessarily the big-name metropolises you’d expect.
“As I compiled June’s rental data, it quickly became apparent that the fastest-growing markets are all over the map—literally,” says Bordo, coauthor along with Hannah Hildebolt of Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster (Matt Holt, August 2023, ISBN: 978-1-6377439-2-8, $21.95). “They stretch from the East Coast to the West Coast, and range from Texas all the way north to Minnesota. While you may have heard of some of them, none are truly large cities.”
Unlike the country’s most expensive cities for renters (a list on which big names like New York City and Los Angeles are permanent residents), the fastest-growing rental markets tend to be a more volatile group. A surge in demand for single-family home rentals (SFRs) or the delivery of a new upscale apartment complex can cause a city to rocket up in the rankings from one month to the next, and disappear from the leaderboard just as quickly.
“Don’t let this list alarm you—as a whole, rent growth nationwide is very moderate,” assures Bordo. “Asking rent for three-bedroom SFRs has increased 5.3 percent, or $95, since June 2022,” says Bordo. “And asking rent for one-bedroom apartments has actually fallen 1.6 percent, or $21.”
Dwellsy, the largest home rental listing platform in the country, regularly mines its 14+ million residential rental listings for statistics and data. Because Dwellsy allows landlords to post listings free of charge, it has a pool of data that’s more diverse—and more representative of the true rental landscape—than that of pay-to-play listing services. Each month, Dwellsy breaks down this data regionally across the U.S. so renters and landlords can see up-to-date trends in rental housing and current affordability in over 250 markets.
When analyzing rental trends, Bordo and his fellow data-crunchers focus on one-bedroom apartments because they are similar to two-bedroom apartments in terms of inventory, but are more price-accessible. Three-bedroom homes are also featured because they are by far the most common rental home type. For a more detailed look at Dwellsy’s rent price analysis methodology, see this article.
Here, Bordo shares which U.S. cities currently have the fastest-growing rent prices.
Top Ten Cities with Fastest-Growing Rent for Three-Bedroom Home Rentals
For the past few years, SFRs have been in high demand. As more people work from home—and high interest rates cause wannabe homeowners to press the pause button on applying for a mortgage—asking rents for this property type have increased accordingly.
“This month, Anderson, Indiana, has come out of nowhere to claim the top spot, with a year-over-year increase of 33.7 percent,” says Bordo. “That’s over 11 percentage points higher than second-place Lawton, Oklahoma. Anderson wasn’t even on this list in May!”
The good (well, at least mitigating) news is that eight of these cities still have a median asking rent lower than the national average of $1,895.
This table lists cities with the fastest growing rent for three-bedroom SFRs between June 2022 and June 2023.
Top Ten Cities with Fastest-Growing Rent for One-Bedroom Apartment Rentals
Nationwide, asking rent for one-bedroom apartments has been flat to declining over the past year—but not in these markets! Las Cruces, New Mexico, is spending its second month in first place, with 38.1 percent rent growth since last year.
“Last month, year-over-year rent growth was 51.4 percent for Las Cruces, so at least it’s headed in a better direction,” comments Bordo. “Corpus Christi, Texas, is quickly catching up with a rent increase of 36.9 percent.”
Median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments in all of these cities is still under the national average of $1,300—so don’t let the recent price hikes scare you away if you’re relocating to one of them.
This table lists cities with the fastest growing rent for one-bedroom apartments between June 2022 and June 2023.
“Again, these are the fastest-growing rental markets in the country, so if you don’t live in one of them, you can probably expect rent growth to remain moderate over the coming months,” concludes Bordo. “If you are a resident of one of these cities, take heart: Most markets don’t stay on these lists for long, and, hopefully, rising rent prices mean that your community is growing and developing.”
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About Jonas Bordo:
Jonas Bordo is the coauthor, along with Hannah Hildebolt, of the upcoming book Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster. He is the CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy, the free residential rental marketplace that makes it easy to find hard-to-find rentals. Prior to cofounding Dwellsy, Jonas was a senior executive at several leading real estate firms including Essex Property Trust and BentallGreenOak, and was with the Boston Consulting Group after graduating with his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
About the Book:
Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster (Matt Holt, August 2023, ISBN: 978-1-6377439-2-8, $21.95) is available for pre-order from major online booksellers.
Dwellsy is the renter’s marketplace: a comprehensive residential home rentals marketplace based on the radical concept that true, organic search in a free ecosystem creates more value than the pay-to-play model embraced by all of the current rental listing services. Dwellsy has more than 14 million residential rental listings—more than any legacy classifieds site—as well as the most diverse set of listings, including single family rentals, condos, and apartments. Dwellsy’s entirely different approach to residential rental listings focuses on presenting houses and apartments based on features renters need and want, not based on how much landlords pay to show their listings. Dwellsy investors include Frontier Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures, Heroic Ventures, and the University of Chicago. For more information, please visit our newsroom or find your next home at Dwellsy.com.