RDFN Redfin Corporation

Redfin Reports U.S. Asking Rents Ticked Up for Second Straight Month in May, Hitting Highest Level Since 2022

(NASDAQ: RDFN) —The median U.S. asking rent rose 0.8% year over year in May to $1,653 — the highest level since October 2022, according to a new from Redfin (), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s the second consecutive increase (rents climbed 0.9% year over year in April) following 11 months of decreases. Rents rose 0.5% on a month-over-month basis.

Apartment prices are closely tied to apartment supply. Multifamily construction surged during the pandemic moving frenzy, which pushed rent prices down because building owners were competing for tenants. While multifamily building starts have fallen below their 10-year historical average, there’s still a backlog of new units that are hitting the market every month, which is putting a lid on how much prices can grow.

“Demand from young renters remains high, as many of them are opting to stay put rather than contend with an increasingly unaffordable homebuying market,” said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “But so far, rent price growth has been limited because there are enough new apartments to meet demand, even in the busiest time of year for the rental market.”

For the past three quarters, the rental vacancy rate has hovered at 6.6%. That’s the highest level since 2021, though it’s worth noting that the vacancy rate is no longer growing like it was during the pandemic.

While asking rents ticked up in May, they’re stable compared to recent years; they rose as much as 17.5% year over year during the pandemic, and then fell as much as 4.1% this past summer. Still, the median asking rent in May was just $47 below (-2.8%) August 2022’s record high of $1,700, posing affordability challenges for some renters.

Rents Are Posting Double-Digit Gains in Washington, D.C., But Falling in the Sun Belt

In Washington, D.C., the median asking rent rose 11.1% year over year in May — the biggest jump among the 33 major U.S. metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed. Four other metros saw double-digit gains: Cincinnati (10.9%), Chicago (10.8%), Virginia Beach, VA (10.3%) and Minneapolis (10.3%).

The biggest asking rent declines were in Jacksonville, FL (-10.1%), San Diego (-8.7%), Austin, TX (-7.2%), Seattle (-5.9%) and Phoenix (-5.5%).

Rents are falling in the Sun Belt in part because the region has been building more apartments than other parts of the country (like the Midwest and Northeast) to meet demand brought on by the influx of people who moved in during the pandemic. But the pandemic housing boom is now in the rearview mirror, and property owners are facing vacancies, which is causing rents to cool.

Meanwhile, rents are rising in many Midwest metros because the region hasn’t been building as many apartments. The Midwest is also the most affordable region to live in, which helps bolster demand at a time when housing affordability is strained across most of the U.S.

To view the full report, including charts, metro-level data and methodology, please visit:

About Redfin

Redfin () is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We run the country's #1 real estate brokerage site. Our customers can save thousands in fees while working with a top agent. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can have our renovations crew fix it up to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1.6 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 4,000 people.

Redfin’s subsidiaries and affiliated brands include: Bay Equity Home Loans®, Rent.™, Apartment Guide®, Title Forward® and WalkScore®.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit . To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the . To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email . To view Redfin's press center, .

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11/06/2024

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