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Top 10 U.S. Cities by Fastest Growing and Declining Rent Prices

When considering a rental property usually the price, among other factors, determine if the option is a yay or nay.

During 2020 with telework mandated for many across the nation, many Americans opted for new surroundings, free from the restrictions they once had. As such, various U.S. cities experienced increases and decreases in average costs of rental properties, such as two-bedroom apartments. As our visualization shows, these percentages varied widely across cities from April 2020 to April 2021.

The State of the Rental Market Map

Based on city average rent price trends for two-bedroom apartments from April 2020 to April 2021:

  • Although Las Vegas, NV tops the list with the biggest increase in rent pricing at 45.60% ($1,997), it does not top the list as one of the most expensive two-bedrooms.
  • Scottsdale, AZ tops the list as the most expensive rent prices for a two-bedroom at $3,125 (a 36.80% increase).
  • Seattle, WA experienced the largest decrease in rent pricing at 26.30% ($2,884) but was still not among the most inexpensive two-bedrooms.
  • Lexington, KY and Fort Wayne, IN only experienced average decreases in rent pricing (17.70% and 14.50%, respectively) but were still amongst the most inexpensive two-bedrooms at $976 and $839, respectively.
  • The average percentage that most rent prices increased by was 30.3% and the average percentage rent prices decreased was by 16.8%.

For our data presented, city average rent price trends and percentages were gathered from the Apartment Guide’s Rent Report, May 2021: The State of the Rental Market. It is important to note that the cities included in the top 10 list experienced the biggest increases or decreases in two-bedroom rent prices year-over-year. Furthermore, this report also includes a more inclusive list of how rent prices are changing among the 100 most populated U.S. cities as well.

Top 5 U.S. Cities With the Largest Rental Price Increase

City Rent Price Increase (April 2020-April 2021)
1. Las Vegas, NV 45.6%
2. Buffalo, NY 41.8%
3. Scottsdale, AZ 36.8%
4. Detroit, MI 31.4%
5. Tucson, AZ 28.8%

Top 5 U.S. Cities With the Largest Rental Price Decrease

City Rent Price Decrease (April 2020-April 2021)
1. Seattle, WA -26.3%
2. Miami, FL -20.5%
3. Philadelphia, PA -20.3%
4. Lexington, KY -17.7%
5. San Jose, CA -14.7%

As of April 2021, the average price of two-bedroom apartments across U.S. cities has varied widely since April 2020. With the average percentage that most rental prices increased by 30.3% and decreasing by 16.8%, this gives a consumer much to think about regarding their next rental decision.

For renters interested in the Midwest, Scottsdale, AZ tops the list at $3,125 for a two-bedroom (the highest on the top 10 list) with a 36.80% increase since last year. Conversely in a neighboring city, with a percentage increase at $28.8%, Tucson, AZ offers the lowest rental price among the top 10 at $1,366. Shifting to the cities with the largest decreases in rental price percentages, the West tops the list with Seattle, WA. With a steep decrease of 26.3%, renters can enjoy two-bedrooms in Seattle at an average price of $2,884. Additionally, for renters looking for the most budget-friendly options, Lexington, KY and Fort Wayne, IN offer average rental prices at $976 and $839, respectively, which still fall near or slightly below the average percentage decrease of 16.8%.

As a final note, remember that when choosing a rental property, regardless of fluctuating rental prices from year to year, renters insurance is important and should be considered. With unexpected expenses or a looming disaster always an unfortunate possibility, allocating for it into your rental budget is critical.

Now aware that some U.S. cities have declined by large percentages over the past year, if you are a renter, does this potentially pique your interest to explore another city? Furthermore, if rates have risen by a large percentage in your city, does this push you closer to pursuing homeownership? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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