Rent Prices Pick Back Up in February Report

March 14, 2019
Photo: Unsplash/Patrick Perkins

Zillow’s February market report shows that rent prices are continuing to increase following a brief period of stagnation last year.

Zillow reports that median rent in the U.S. rose 2.4 percent year-over-year in February to $1,472. Faster February gains were seen in Orlando, Fla. (7 percent) and Phoenix (6.8 percent), among other cities. San Jose continues to see the highest rent prices ($3,547 on average), but only saw a 1.4 percent bump in February.

For a while last year, it looked like the U.S. rental market might be headed for a serious slowdown. Year-over-year rent growth dipped below 1 percent – and then it stopped growing altogether. In September and October, the U.S. median rent was lower than it had been the previous year – the first time the market had posted annual declines since July 2012.

Now that rent growth has picked up again – to a moderate pace compared to the breakneck growth of earlier years – it appears we’re in for a more vanilla, slow-growth market going forward. During last year’s short-lived correction, landlords began to contend with the fact that rental supply finally started to catch up with demand. As we enter the 2020s, the number of 20-somethings will fall and more millennials will move on to homeownership, which could translate into less demand for rentals.

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