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Realtor.com June Rental Report: Rents Surge to New Highs Nationwide

July 19 2021

The U.S. median rental price increased 8.1% year-over-year to a median of $1,575

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 15, 2021 -- The shortage of affordable housing inventory forced more prospective homebuyers into the rental market in June, driving the U.S. median rent price to a new high of $1,575, an 8.1% increase year-over-year, according to the Realtor.com® Monthly Rental Report released today. Additionally, rental prices in 44 of the 50 largest metros broke new records led by Riverside, Memphis, Tampa and Phoenix, which posted gains above 20% year-over-year.

"The surge we're seeing in rental prices is likely to exacerbate the K-shaped, or uneven, nature of the pandemic recovery in the U.S. Rents are rising at a faster pace than income, which is adding to the challenges faced by lower-income Americans as they struggle to recover from job losses and other hardships brought about by COVID," said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "Looking forward, rents aren't expected to slow unless we see a fundamental shift in the number of homes for sale and for rent."

Hale added, June's 3.2% price growth over May was more than just the usual seasonal trend of increasing summer rents. Rents typically fluctuate by less than 1% on a monthly basis. In June, rents in all but two of the 50 largest U.S. metros posted month-over-month gains of 1.0% or higher. Miami topped the list at an increase of 7.7% over May, a gain that would be exceptional over the course of 12-months, let alone one.

Rents surge to new highs in 44 of the 50 largest U.S. metros

The spike in demand for housing is putting pressure on markets already challenged by availability and affordability. Similar to the shortage of homes for sale, the number of homes available to rent is historically low, driving competition and surging rental prices. In June, rents in 44 of the 50 largest U.S. markets hit the highest levels seen in the past two years of Realtor.com® data. Additionally, nearly half of these metros posted month-over-month gains at or above the unusually high national rate.

For the second straight month, Riverside, Calif., Memphis, Tenn., Tampa and Phoenix held the top spots by rent growth. Rents in these markets grew at a faster pace in June than last month, posting year-over-year gains of 20% or more in June. Riverside saw the highest growth in June, up 24.2% over last year and 4.6% from May (+19.2%) to a median $2,112.

Strong demand for more space widens the rent gap between unit sizes
The desire for larger living space increased significantly during the pandemic, and this trend continued to play out this month. Two-bedroom rents increased at the fastest pace of all unit sizes in June, up 10.2% year-over-year to a new high of $1,770. Two-bedroom rents were up 13.6% in June compared to 2019, rising $212 per month in just two years.

Although the gap between two-bedroom rents and smaller unit sizes is getting larger, one-bedroom (+8.0%) and studio (+4.0%) rents also posted significant gains in June, with one-bedroom rents reaching a new high of $1,466. More common to crowded cities, studios saw the steepest declines during COVID but are finally catching up with the overall rental market recovery. In June, studio rents rose 5.8% over 2019 to a new two-year high of $1,294.

Realtor.com® June 2021 Rental Data - Top 10 Markets for Year-over-Year Rent Increases

rdc June 2021 Rental Report 1

Realtor.com®June 2021 Rental Data - 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas

rdc June 2021 Rental Report 2

Methodology

Rental data as of June 2021. Rental units include apartment communities as well as private rentals (condos, townhomes, single-family homes). All units were studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom units. National rents were calculated by averaging the medians of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

About Realtor.com®

Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.