Rental Market’s ‘Wild Ride’ Likely to Continue

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Rent prices have been surging from high demand. The national median rent price climbed to $1,781 per month in December 2021, marking a 10.1% annual rent growth in 2021,® reports. Metros like Miami, Tampa, Fla., and Orlando, Fla., saw gains of more than 34% each.

“On average in 2021, national rents were more than 10% higher than in 2020,” says Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist. “As our December report further illustrates, this average understates the wild ride that the rental market, and many renters, experienced in 2021.”

Rents began 2021 mostly flat but “gained incredible momentum throughout the year, hitting double-digit yearly pace by summer and continuing to surge through December,” Hale says. “While yearly growth is still strong, monthly growth cooled in December, which is typical for this time of year—and not expected to last.”

With rent still running high—and expected to continue to rise this year—rental affordability is increasingly becoming a challenge for many Americans in 2022, Hale says. “For those thinking about making the transition from renting to buying their first home, rising rents will remain a motivating factor even as for-sale home prices and mortgage rates continue to climb,” she notes.

A table showing®'s 2021 national rent metrics
A table showing®'s 2021 national rent metrics by the fastest and slowest growths and where they occurred.