Where rent rose, fell the most in 2021: report

U.S.

A for rent sign is posted on a building in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(NEXSTAR) – If you aren’t shopping for a new home in the hot housing market, you’re likely among the millions of Americans who are renting.

In the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, median rent rose an astounding 19.3% from December 2020 to December 2021, according to a Realtor.com analysis of properties with two or fewer bedrooms.

Data from the Labor Department shows rental costs rose 0.5% in from December 2020 to January 2021 – that’s the largest single-month increase in 20 years.

Experts say many factors are responsible for astronomical rents, including a nationwide housing shortage, extremely low rental vacancies and unrelenting demand as young adults continue to enter the crowded market.

States with rising, falling rent rates

The rent hike hasn’t been equally impacting every state in the U.S. In a recent analysis, Rent.com found some states saw rent rates jump by more than 50% from 2020 to 2021.

Rhode Island has seen the largest year-over-year increase, according to the analysis, with the average rent for a one-bedroom unit jumping from $1,023 to $1,968 – a 92% price hike. Across the country in Utah, renters are seeing a 71% year-over-year rent increase for the same sized unit. The average price has gone from $860 to $1,471.

When it comes to the average rental rates for two-bedroom units, Idaho (also home to one of 2022’s hottest housing markets) experienced the largest rent hike. In 2020, the average rate was $928. In 2021, that spiked to an average $1,754 – an 89% increase. Rhode Island was close behind with an 81% year-over-year increase. In 2020, the average rent was $1,248. Last year, it was $2,259.

Rent isn’t rising everywhere. In Nebraska, for example, the average rent for a one-bedroom has dropped from $989 to $975. For the same sized unit, New Hampshire has experienced a decrease from $1,699 to $1,658. The average rent for a two-bedroom unit in Wyoming has dropped slightly from $789 to $777.

Cities with top increase, decrease in rent prices

Rent.com also analyzed rent price trends for the 100 largest cities. Rent is rising in most of these areas. While Idaho and Rhode Island were the states most impacted by rising rent, no cities from either appear in the top five of those seeing a major year-over-year price change.

These five cities have seen the greatest year-over-year increases in the average one-bedroom rent prices:

  • Gilbert, Ariz. (+108.5%)
  • Long Beach, Calif. (+55.7%)
  • Huntington Beach, Calif. (+49.2%)
  • Jersey City, N.J. (+46.6%)
  • Austin, Texas (+45.1%)

Alternatively, these five cities have seen the largest decreases:

  • Toledo, Ohio (-27.6%)
  • Kansas City, Mo. (-21.6%)
  • Indianapolis (-9.7%)
  • Atlanta (-9.6%)
  • Miami (-9.2%)

When it comes to the average rent for two-bedroom units, these five cities have had the most substantial price increases:

  • New York City (+49.9%)
  • Fresno, Calif. (+44.3%)
  • Aurora, Ill. (+41.2%)
  • Salt Lake City (+40.3%)
  • St. Petersburg, Fla. (+39.5%)

Meanwhile, these five have seen the largest price drops:

  • Shreveport, La. (-28.6%)
  • Kansas City, Mo. (-25.3%)
  • Lincoln, Neb. (-18.6%)
  • Wichita, Kan. (-18.1%)
  • Durham, N.C. (-14.0%)

Among those that saw the largest increase in rent prices, two cities – Salt Lake City and St. Petersburg – also rank in the top 10 hottest housing markets for 2022. Indianapolis, which saw a decrease in the average rent price, is also on that list.

Atlanta and Miami were recently found to have some of the most affordable property listings while Salt Lake City was ranked to have some of the fewest.

Rent.com notes states and cities with insufficient inventory were not included in this report, which you can view in full here.

In a recent report, Zumper predicted rent will continue to rise through 2022, especially because of low supply but strong demand.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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