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The Rent Cafe Apartment Market Report for September shows a rare decline in the National Average Rent.

Key Findings

  • The national average rent went up by 3.2% in the past year but dipped by 0.1% month-over-month, reaching $1,471 in September according to data from Yardi Matrix.
  • Apartment rates in a majority of small and large cities registered either minor decreases or stagnated. 
  • In more than half of the nation’s largest renter hubs rent prices waned since August. 

Since last month, apartment rents saw minor declines in more than half of the cities we analyzed. Small and large cities lead the trend, with prices dropping in 59% of small cities and 56% of large cities, while 42% of mid-sized cities saw their rates dwindle in September.

September Rents in the 20 Largest Mega-Hubs

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CPI Rent and Owners' Equivalent Rent Month-Over-Month

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The Rent Cafe does not use seasonal adjustments, so for comparison purposes the last time the BLS had rents dipping was March of 2010.

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Year-Over-Year Rent Cafe

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Year-Over-Year CPI

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The numbers are not directly comparable because the Rent Cafe uses dollars while the BLS uses an index. Also Rent Cafe Data does not go back as far as the BLS.

I would have liked to seen Rent Cafe data for 2007-2010 to see how they stacked up.

September 2019 vs September 2018

  • The Rent Cafe says the national average rent went up by 3.2%.
  • The BLS says rent of primary residence went up 3.8%
  • The BLS says Owner' Equivalent Rent went up 3.4%

The numbers that we do have align quite well.

Mike "Mish' Shedlock