Rent growth is slowing nationally, according to a new report from Apartment List. This slowdown in rent growth is partially attributable to an increasing supply of new rental inventory in many markets.
Their estimates show that annual rent growth rates at the national level have been trending downward for the past few years. Although rent growth has slowed, it remains in positive territory. Rents are still increasing, just at a slower pace.
While Apartment List's national index provides a valuable overview of high-level trends, there is significant variation across cities. The table ranks the nation's 25 largest cities from fastest to slowest rent growth for each of the past four years.
City rankings change substantially from year to year.
Houston ranked last in rent growth rankings last year, with a 2.8 percent decline in prices, but the city now ranks second with a 3.4 increase over the past year.
Houston presents a unique example, notes the study. The devastation of Hurricane Harvey damaged or destroyed a substantial number of homes in the city last August. Before Harvey, Houston had one of the nation's highest vacancy rates but now has a shortage of available rental units.
Although many landlords froze rents in the immediate aftermath of Harvey, Apartment List data show a sharp spike in rents in Houston through the winter months, a time when rent prices normally fall. More recently, prices seem to have stabilized.
It will be interesting to see where Houston rents are a year from now.
Want to know more? The Real Estate Center has several recent articles related to the impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston.