Median asking rents in the 50 largest metros dropped 0.7% year-over-year last month to $1,747, according to new data from Realtor.com. September marked the fifth consecutive month of rent price declines.
The median rent on a studio unit was $1,447 in September, while a one-bedroom unit carried a $1,630 median unit price and a two-bedroom cost $1,934. September’s overall median rent price was also down $29 from the peak seen in July 2022, but it was 24% higher than pre-pandemic July 2019.
Realtor.com noted that the annual completion rate of multifamily buildings with five or more units increased by 10.1% from August to September and by 15% year-over-year. The absorption rate for affordable rental units – those renting for $1,850 or lower, approximately 30% of the median household income – was 69.8% within three months of completion. Within the same timeframe, 57.2% of those priced over $1,850 were rented.
Among the major metros recording year-over-year rent declines are Austin (-7.3%), Dallas (-6.2%), Orlando (-5.4%), Phoenix (-5.2%) and San Francisco (-4.8%), On the flip side, the metros with the greatest year-over-year rent increases were Louisville (4.6%), Richmond (4.6%), New York City (4.5%), Birmingham (4.4%) and Washington, D.C. (4.2%).
“As rents ease and both home prices and mortgage rates continue to climb, it’s become more economical to rent than to buy in nearly all major markets,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “However, even with an influx of new apartment units coming onto the market and putting a lid on rent growth, renters are claiming these new apartments faster than prior to the pandemic. Those considering new housing options will want to do their research on their desired neighborhoods, determine their priorities, and set their budget well ahead of time if possible, so they’re ready to move quickly when the time comes.”