The last time rent price appreciation was this strong was in April 2018. March's data also represents a full basis point more than the overall price appreciation average for all of 2018, Realtor.com reports. Rents are also rising faster than wages, which grew only 3.2 percent in March.
In the aftermath of the recession, rental costs were subdued. But then household formation began to accelerate as the economy healed – but the housing industry didn’t. The U.S. now has a deficit of about 2.6 million housing units affordable to low- and moderate-income Americans, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.