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The RentCafe reports the Average National Apartment Rent Kicks Off the Spring Rental Season at $1,430.

Key Findings

The national average rent was $1,430 in March 2019, 3.2% ($44) higher than this time last year, according to data from Yardi Matrix.

  • 92% of the country’s largest 253 cities have seen rents grow in March year-over-year, 6% of rents remained unchanged, while 2% of cities experienced rent drops compared to 2018.
  • The fastest and the slowest y-o-y rent changes occurred in small Texas cities — Midland (14.6%) and Odessa (13.3%) are the only cities with increases of over 10%, while Pearland is the only one where rent decreased by more than 2%.
  • The early beginning of the rental season saw rent prices increase by 3.2% over the year — the lowest annual growth we’ve seen in more than 6 months.
  • Compared to last year’s figure, the March average national rent of $1,430/month is $44 higher. Month-over-month, however, we witnessed a 0.3% rise, or $4 more added to average rent prices. This is consistent to last spring’s growth levels, signaling the end of the sluggish winter season.

Largest Cities

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Phoenix and Las Vegas Top the List

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Aggressive increases in the Southwest have kept Phoenix and Las Vegas at the top of the list when it comes to rent growth in the past year, 7.8%, which translates into $75 and $76 more per month, respectively. Apartments in Jacksonville, FL come in third with a 6.3% ($64) increase accounting for a monthly average rent of $1,074. LA, where the average rent price is $2,469 following a 5.6% increase that means $130 more per month. Apartments in Memphis, TN now go for $39 more than in March 2018: $790/month after a 5.2% increase. It’s important to note that, compared to this time last year, San Francisco, CA had the highest net increase among large cities – the average rent of $3,619 means new renters would have to pay $153 more than what they would’ve 12 months ago.

The weakest increases happened in Houston, TX(0.9%), followed by Manhattan and Portland, OR, both witnessing a 1.6% y-o-y increase. Rents in Queens reached $2,268 after a 1.8% y-o-y increase, and Boston, MA saw a 2% increase compared to last year, which brought the average rent price here to $3,343.

Year-Over-Year Wage Growth

Let's review the wage growth numbers as noted in my most recent Jobs report: Wild Job Fluctuations Again - Payrolls Rose by 196K but Employment Fell by 200K.

  • All Private Nonfarm from $26.84 to $27.70, a gain of 3.2%
  • All production and supervisory from $22.49 to $23.24, a gain of 3.3%.

The Fed

The Fed, Keynesian clowns, and the Bloomberg Econoday writers want more inflation. They are all nuts.

Ask any renter if they want prices to keep going up.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock