In These Twenty Cities, Rapidly Rising Rent Prices Are Emptying Residents’ Pots Of Gold

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Dwellsy’s latest data analysis reveals which twenty cities have the fastest-rising rent. With year-over-year price increases of at least 20 percent, they’ve all earned their places on this list.

Los Altos, CA (March 2023) – As the Fed continues to combat inflation and (hopefully) stave off a recession, most of us have been dismayed to find that our dollars aren’t going as far as they used to.

While we’d all like to have a wee bit more cash in our wallets, renters in some cities are really hoping to encounter an elusive leprechaun (and especially his pot of gold) this St. Patrick’s Day. That’s because, according to Dwellsy’s latest data drop, their rent has skyrocketed clear over the rainbow and into the stratosphere.

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“While year-over-year rent for both single-family home rentals (SFRs) and apartments is up, in most markets price increases have stayed under +10 percent,” says Jonas Bordo, CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy. “But that’s not the case for some unlucky cities, where rent has surged 20, 30, 40, or 50 percent—and in one case, over 100 percent.

Suffice it to say, renters in these places are hoping for any lucky break they can get, whether it comes from a leprechaun or—perhaps slightly more likely—a landlord.”

If you had to guess which markets have experienced the fastest-growing rent, there’s a good chance you’d choose famously pricey cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. While no one would argue these places are cheap, you won’t find them on the following lists. In fact, Bordo warns, some of these zip codes might be closer to home than you expect.

Dwellsy, the largest home rental listing platform in the country, regularly mines its 13+ million residential rental listings for statistics and data. Because Dwellsy allows landlords to post listings free of charge, it has a pool of data that’s more diverse—and more representative of the true rental landscape—than that of pay-to-play listing services.

Each month, Dwellsy breaks down this data regionally across the U.S. so renters and landlords can see up-to-date trends in rental housing and current affordability in over 250 markets.

When analyzing rental trends, Bordo and his fellow data-crunchers focus on one-bedroom apartments because they are similar to two-bedroom apartments in terms of inventory, but are more price-accessible.

Three-bedroom homes are also featured because they are by far the most common rental home type. For a more detailed look at Dwellsy’s rent price analysis methodology, see this article.

Here, Bordo shares which U.S. cities currently have the fastest-growing rent prices.

Top Ten Cities with Fastest-Growing Rent for Three-Bedroom Home Rentals

Monroe may be the eighth-largest city in Louisiana, but it has the fastest-growing SFR rent in the entire nation. A three-bedroom home in this market is 45.5 percent more expensive than it was a year ago. Monroe’s rent growth leads second-place Rochester, New York, by over 10 percent.

“If you put the ‘sticker shock’ of these high percentages aside, you’ll see that only one market on this list—the metro area of Santa Barbara-Santa-Maria-Goleta, California—has a median asking rent of over $2,000,” says Bordo. “In fact, with median rents in the mid-$1,000s, rent in most of these cities is still modest compared to many other places in the U.S.”

This table lists cities with the fastest growing rent for three-bedroom SFRs between February 2022 and February 2023.

Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area Median Three-Bedroom Home February 2023 Asking Rent Change in Rent Since February 2022
1 Monroe, LA $ 1,600 45.5%
2 Rochester, NY $ 1,600 33.3%
3 Cedar Rapids, IA $ 1,595 31.8%
4 Albany, GA $ 1,280 28.0%
5 Wichita, KS $ 1,250 25.0%
6 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $ 1,900 23.4%
7 Macon, GA $ 1,100 22.2%
8 Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA $ 3,350 21.8%
9 Greenville, NC $ 1,500 20.0%
10 Bismarck, ND $ 1,795 19.7%

Top Ten Cities with Fastest-Growing Rent for One-Bedroom Apartment Rentals

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is well-known within the aviation community for hosting one of the world’s premiere air shows. But this year, aircraft aren’t the only things taking off. Apartment rent is also sky-high, having increased 109.3 percent since February 2022.

“I’m sure Oshkosh renters feel like they’ve endured several loop-the-loops, especially since this is the third month their city has topped this list,” says Bordo. “With a rent increase of ‘only’ 59.2 percent, Charleston, West Virginia, comes in second place.”

Bordo points out that despite the rapid rent growth, a one-bedroom apartment in half these cities is under $1,000.

“Keep in mind that especially in smaller markets, it takes only one or two new apartment buildings to substantially impact median asking rent,” he says.

This table lists cities with the fastest growing rent for one-bedroom apartments between February 2022 and February 2023.

Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area Median One-Bedroom Apartment February 2023 Asking Rent Change in Rent Since February 2022
1 Oshkosh-Neenah, WI $ 1,413 + 109.3%
2 Charleston, WV $ 995 + 59.2%
3 Ellensburg, WA $ 944 + 57.3%
4 Lawton, OK $ 623 + 55.8%
5 Ithaca, NY $ 2,003 + 52.6%
6 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $ 1,450 + 41.5%
7 Corpus Christi, TX $ 1,199 + 41.1%
8 Minot, ND $ 858 + 39.5%
9 Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL $ 625 + 38.9%
10 Flagstaff, AZ $ 1,550 + 34.9%

“I’ll leave you with some hopeful news: Apartment prices are likely to stay fairly flat as we move further into 2023,” Bordo concludes. “The delivery of near-record numbers of new apartments will impact median asking rent in some markets, but overall, increased supply will nudge price trends in renters’ favor.”


About Jonas Bordo:

Jonas Bordo is the coauthor, along with Hannah Hildebolt, of the upcoming book Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster. He is the CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy, the free residential rental marketplace that makes it easy to find hard-to-find rentals.

About the Book:

Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster (Matt Holt, August 2023, ISBN: 978-1-6377439-2-8, $21.95) is available for pre-order from major online booksellers.

About Dwellsy:

Dwellsy is the renter’s marketplace: a comprehensive residential home rentals marketplace based on the radical concept that true, organic search in a free ecosystem creates more value than the pay-to-play model embraced by all of the current rental listing services.