The Complete 2023 Guide to Rent Prices in the US
Rent Is Going Up Again.
Is it a blip or a trend?
April brought some modest increases in the rent levels and the question on all of our minds is: Is this the resumption of a more normal seasonal cycle? Or just a one-off variation from the declines we’ve been seeing in recent months?
The normal seasonal rent cycle has rent increasing from April through October, and then declining during the winter and early spring. While year-over-year rent tends to move roughly in line with inflation levels, the annual peak-to-trough difference can be as much as 10%.
Here’s the headline rent price data through April 2023:
- $1,875/mo: 3 Bedroom SFR median asking rent
- Up $107 or 6.1% vs. $1,768 in April 2022
- Up $40 or 2.2% vs. $1,835 in March 2023
- $1,289/mo: 1 Bedroom Apartment median asking rent
- Down $11 or 0.8% vs. $1,300 in April 2022
- Up $14 or 1.1% vs. $1,275 in March 2023
For more on Dwellsy’s rent reporting methodology, please check out our article on the topic.
Median Asking Rent, April 2022 to April 2023
A look at the data over the past two years is helpful in putting the most recent April rent changes in context. While we have seen an overall significant move up in 3-bedroom single-family home rental prices since January of 2021 (a 23.6% increase), rent for 1-bedroom apartments has actually declined by 1.9% during this time.
Why the Difference In Rent Change Between SFR and Apartments?
The past several years have brought enormous changes in consumer preferences for housing.
The biggest change has been a shift to value larger homes as more of us work from home, spend more time at home and embrace pets. In many cases, this has caused renters to be willing to spend more to get the extra space - perhaps with savings from no longer having to commute.
Additionally, many individuals and families, freed from the need to live close to their work, have moved to lower-cost locations and have been able to trade up to larger homes for the same or less money. For example, about $2,000 will get you a three-bedroom home in Nashville, TN but you’ll need $2,070 to get a 1-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, CA.
This has meant that overall demand for smaller rentals, in particular, those at average/median price points, has lagged that for larger homes and single-family properties.
At the same time, we’ve seen record growth in deliveries of new apartment supply, increasing the availability of rentals at a time when demand is not particularly high.
That said, we do see a divergence in the numbers between premium and more typical, middle-class apartments. Premium apartments have continued to see higher rent growth and certain cities that have dense apartment stock (we see you, NYC) have also continued to see material increases in rent.
Most Expensive Large Cities for 3-Bedroom Single-Family Home Rents
California once again cities topped the charts for the most expensive single-family home rental markets in the country, with Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego taking the top four spots with asking rent at $4,200, $3,800, $3,711 and $3,598 respectively. The Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario MSA is also on the list (9th), so California cities claim fully half of the most expensive rental cities in the country for single-family home rentals.
Most Expensive Large Cities for 1 Bedroom Apartment Rentals
Across the country, rents for 1 bedroom apartments have been relatively flat, but renters in many large cities did see meaningful increases this past year.
Taking the overall “trophy” is New York City, which saw the highest overall rent level for these types of apartments ($3,152/mo), and a substantial increase versus the prior year (+ 6.8%).
Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, and Los Angeles, CA round out the top five.
It’s interesting to note that there are more markets on this list with flat or falling year-over-year rents (6 of 10) than there are those with increasing rents.
Most Expensive Small Cities for 3 Bedroom Single-Family Home Rents
Over the course of the past year, many renters found their way to smaller cities with great amenities or attractions (California/Florida sunshine!), and those on this list saw the highest rent as a result.
This month, Salinas, CA (home to tony Carmel-By-The-Sea) dropped to second place with median rent at $3,500/mo, beat out by Naples-Marco Island, FL at $3,698/mo.
The Santa Barbara, CA metro region saw the highest overall growth in rent in this group, with rent up more than 14.3% in the past year, though their rent growth numbers are lower than we’ve seen in a while, suggesting the Santa Barbara market is cooling while absorbing past rent increases.
Most Expensive Small Cities for 1 Bedroom Apartment Rentals
Smaller cities are often some of the most challenging places to find great apartment rentals and the top 10 on this list are no exception. We’re not at NYC levels on the rent here, but rent for a 1 bedroom in each of these markets exceeds $1,700 per month and goes as high as $2,245/mo in Ithaca, NY - if you can find one.
Cities With The Fastest Growing 3-Bedroom Home Rent in 2023
Nationwide, single-family rentals have grown in price at a dramatically higher rate than apartments, and in these 10 markets, that price increase is felt most dramatically.
This month, Odessa, TX shows as the city with the most dramatic increase in median rent for available units with an overall increase of 33% in monthly rent. Jackson, MS and Cedar Rapids, IA round out the top three with rent increases of nearly 30% or more in both cases.
Cities With The Fastest Growing 1-Bedroom Apartment Rent in 2023
Oshkosh, WI continues to lead the league tables in this category, with asking rent for available rentals up more than 80% since last year.
Ithaca, NY, Corpus Christi, TX, Rochester, MN, and Charleston, WV round out the top five, each increasing rents for 1 bedroom apartments by 30% or more in the past year.
Apartment markets in smaller cities, like those in this list, can be highly volatile, influenced by the delivery of just a few new buildings in a particular market, so please keep that in mind with this particular cohort.
Average Rent vs. Median Rent
While average rent is the more widely used term, here at Dwellsy, we use the median of the data set for each property type because of the fact that rent prices can be priced up to $20,000 and beyond, but cannot go below $0.
This asymmetrical data creates a situation in which the average and the median are substantially different and the average is always higher than the median.
Dwellsy believes the median is the most representative for this analysis since it more accurately represents what renters are actually seeing and paying when it comes to rentals.
For more on our methodology and approach, please visit our detailed methodology description.
Looking for more data on the current rental market? Check out these articles!
Complete guide to single-family rentals
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