Latest Rent Trend Report Shows Renters Are Increasingly Willing To Pay Extra For More Space

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July data shows asking rents for apartments and homes have remained flat—or even decreased!—since June. Jonas Bordo of Dwellsy breaks down these trends by property type and size.

Los Altos, CA (August 2023)—If you spent much time outside last month, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that July was Earth’s hottest month…ever. What might come as a surprise is the fact that—despite continuing inflation—asking rent for most property types has remained stable, and in some cases, has even decreased. Think of it as a nice cool breeze for your budget, says Dwellsy CEO and cofounder Jonas Bordo.

“In between cranking the AC and taking sips of ice water, I was pleased to see that July’s rent data showed continued stability, sprinkled with some small declines,” 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). “This breath of cool, fresh air for your finances is especially welcome since rents typically rise during the summer, which is peak moving season.”

Bordo shares year-over-year and month-over-month rent price data for three popular rental types:

  • Three-bedroom single family home rentals (SFRs)
    • Up 5 percent ($90) since July 2022
    • Down 0.3 percent ($5), since June 2023
  • One-bedroom apartments
    • Down 1.9 percent ($25) since July 2022
    • Flat since June 2023
  • Two-bedroom apartments
    • Flat since July 2022
    • Down 1 percent ($15) since June 2023

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 and two-bedroom apartments were chosen as focus groups because, while they are similar in terms of inventory, they are representative of the aforementioned size-based price divergence. Three-bedroom homes were chosen because they are by far the most common rental home type.

 Median Asking Rent by Property Type
Month1 Bedroom Apartments2 Bedroom Apartments3 Bedroom
Jul-23 $         1,300 $         1,450 $         1,890
Jun-23 $         1,300 $         1,465 $         1,895
May-23 $         1,295 $         1,473 $         1,875
Apr-23 $         1,289 $         1,463 $         1,875
Mar-23 $         1,275 $         1,450 $         1,835
Feb-23 $         1,282 $         1,449 $         1,825
Jan-23 $         1,295 $         1,448 $         1,848
Dec-22 $         1,310 $         1,445 $         1,720
Nov-22 $         1,310 $         1,448 $         1,750
Oct-22 $         1,300 $         1,436 $         1,795
Sep-22 $         1,310 $         1,445 $         1,795
Aug-22 $         1,325 $         1,450 $         1,795
Jul-22 $         1,325 $         1,450 $         1,800

“Given the upheaval the pandemic wrought on the rental market, it’s interesting to look at longer-term rental trends, too,” says Bordo. “While asking rent for three-bedroom SFRs has seen a significant rise of 24.6 percent since January 2021 (when Dwellsy began tracking this data), rent for two-bedroom apartments has risen by only about $100, and the price of one-bedroom apartments has actually declined by 1.1 percent.

“Let’s look at the divergence in apartment prices a bit more closely,” he continues. “There has always been a bit of a premium for two-bedroom apartments. For example, in early 2021 two-bedroom apartments were priced at a 2 percent premium compared to one-bedroom units. Today, the premium has increased over 5 times to 11 percent. This change reflects the national trend we’ve been seeing toward higher pricing for larger rentals of all kinds, due to increased consumer demand.”

Bordo points out that the larger-apartment premium is especially pronounced in apartment-dense urban areas like New York, where there is little room to spread out and there is a greater proportion of smaller apartments.

As Bordo mentioned previously, consumer housing preferences are a major driver behind the current rental price trends.

“As more people work from home, renters have become more willing to pay for extra space,” he explains. “In some cases, savings from no longer having to commute have helped make this possible. And, of course, sky-high interest rates have caused more than a few would-be homebuyers to say, ‘You know what? Let’s wait for things to calm down before we apply for that mortgage.’”

The following chart tracks rent growth since January 2021 by property type and bedroom number. The divergence between smaller and larger rentals is clear and dramatic for apartments and SFRs.

“Prices for three-bedroom single-family homes have risen the most, followed by four-bedroom homes, two-bedroom homes, and three-bedroom apartments,” Bordo says. “Asking rent for studio and one-bedroom apartments has decreased.”

“2023 has seen record growth in deliveries of new apartments, increasing their availability in a time when demand in most areas of the country is not particularly high,” Bordo concludes. “Meanwhile, demand for larger rental homes remains elevated. So, while I do expect price differences between property types to persist, I also predict the rental market as a whole will continue to experience a period of moderation thanks to inflation and high interest rates.”

About Jonas Bordo:

Jonas Bordo is the coauthor, along with Hannah Hildebolt, of 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. 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 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.