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The Rent Cafe 2018 Year End Rent Report shows rents hold strong at year end.

What most caught my eye, however, was an interactive graphic that lets you hover over a phrase to see how often perspective renters included that word or phrase in a search.

Search Results

  • Cheap apartments: 25.14%
  • Studios: 23.88%
  • One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments follow in that order, with 10.48%, 9.46% and 7.5% of all rental-related searches, respectively.
  • Luxury apartments also saw significant interest among renters this year, accounting for 7% of searches.
  • Those wanting a pool or gym turned up in 0.33% and 0.06% respectively

Cheap Is On My Mind

Studio is another sign that cheap is on renter's minds.

Admittedly there is some overlap between cheap and studios while there isn't between One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. However, there is likely some overlap between studio and one-bedroom.

GPS Searches

The infographic only listed amenities but here's another interesting factoid: Online activity has migrated to GPS-enabled mobile devices. One third of the keywords people searched for in 2018 included the words ‘near me.’

Cheap - Near Me

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This is what people want: Cheap, near them.

Everything else other than number of bedrooms doesn't factor in until final comparisons.

National Average Rent

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Other Take-Aways

  • The national average apartment rent ends the year with a strong 3.1% y-o-y increase, having reached $1,419, $42 above what renters were paying this time last year, according to Yardi Matrix.
  • As of the end of the year and throughout 2018, rents have seen the most fluctuation in small cities, with double-digit percentage increases in Odessa, TX, Midland, TX, and Reno, NV.
  • Queens, NY has been the only large market with stagnating rents, and only two small cities, Baton Rouge, LA and College Station, TX have seen significant decreases.

Cheap is In

In case you haven't figured it out, cheap is in.

Don't count on those looking for "cheap" to be looking to buy homes until this economic bubble collapses.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock