Is It Going To Be A Flat-Rent Summer? May Data Report Indicates “Yes”

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For both apartments and single-family homes, asking rent hasn’t changed much since last month. Jonas Bordo of Dwellsy explains why he’s forecasting a flat-rent summer.

Los Altos, CA (June 2023)—Summer is an expensive season. Vacations, summer camps, lawn care, gas prices, and more eat away at your budget faster than a rogue wave washing over a sandcastle. But if you’re a renter, Jonas Bordo, CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy, says there’s some relief in sight—at least the amount you have to send the landlord isn’t rising along with the temperatures.

Rents Flattened Out In May

“After seeing rent increases between March and April, May’s numbers have largely flattened out,” says Bordo, coauthor along with Hannah Hildebolt of 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). “It’s possible that despite adhering to established seasonal trends, last month’s growth was a short-term blip, and we are now heading into a period of moderation.”

From April to May 2023, median asking rent for three-bedroom single-family rental homes (SFRs) stayed the same at $1,875. To put this in perspective, year-over-year rent growth since May 2022 is 4.5 percent, or $80.

“That last piece of data is really interesting, because it shows that we are at the end of a period of rapid rent growth for SFRs,” says Bordo. “In May 2022, annual rent increases were at 12.9 percent. The current rate, 4.5 percent, is trailing just below inflation.”

Median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments did rise a (teeny-tiny) bit since April: 0.5 percent, or $6. But since year-over-year prices are down 1.1 percent ($15), apartment-dwellers still have plenty to smile about.

Dwellsy, the largest home rental listing platform in the country, regularly mines its 14+ 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. For a more detailed look at Dwellsy’s rent price analysis methodology, see this article.

The following graphs show median asking rent by property type for each month in the past year. One-bedroom apartments were chosen as a focus group because they are similar to two-bedroom apartments in terms of inventory, but are more price-accessible. Three-bedroom homes were chosen because they are by far the most common rental home type.

 Median Asking Rent by Property Type
MonthOne-Bedroom ApartmentsThree-Bedroom Houses
May-23 $         1,295 $         1,875
Apr-23 $         1,289 $         1,875
Mar-23 $         1,275 $         1,835
Feb-23 $         1,282 $         1,825
Jan-23 $         1,295 $         1,848
Dec-22 $         1,310 $         1,720
Nov-22 $         1,310 $         1,750
Oct-22 $         1,300 $         1,795
Sep-22 $         1,310 $         1,795
Aug-22 $         1,325 $         1,795
Jul-22 $         1,325 $         1,800
Jun-22 $         1,321 $         1,800
May-22 $         1,310 $         1,795

The table below shows prices for each property type since Dwellsy began tracking this data in January 2021.

“It’s easy to see why apartment renters might be disgruntled by the recent rise in prices, small though it may be,” comments Bordo. “Their asking rent has remained relatively flat for over two years, and has actually declined by 1.5 percent during this time.

“In contrast, single-family home rentals have been on a steep upward trajectory with relatively few price drops,” he continues. “Thanks in large part to the pandemic, the ensuing shift to remote and flexible work, and rising mortgage rates, demand has surged. Asking rent for a three-bedroom SFR has risen 23.6 percent since January 2021.”

Flat-Rent Summer

“As we move further into the summer months, I predict that rents will continue to remain moderate, perhaps with a few modest increases,” Bordo concludes. “The past few pandemic-driven years aside, rents do tend to follow seasonal cycles. It’s normal for prices to rise a bit during the warmer months, as that’s peak moving season.”

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.