U.S. median rental prices have surpassed pre-pandemic growth and are now at their highest point in two years, according to realtor.com®’s latest Monthly Rental Report.
Monthly rents rose 5.5% year over year and averaged $1,527 in May. One-bedroom and two-bedroom rentals climbed to the highest levels since May 2019 at $1,718 and $1,422, respectively. Rents for studio apartments rose for the first time in the last 10 months, reaching a median of $1,254, realtor.com® reports.
Rents in 38 of the 50 largest metros reached new price peaks.
But it’s the smaller markets and emerging tech areas that are leading the rebound in rental prices. For example, Riverside, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Phoenix; and Sacramento, Calif., posted increases in rental prices of 15% or higher over the past year.
“Highlighting COVID’s uneven impact across the U.S., rents continued to decline in the nation’s largest metros like Los Angeles and Boston, where May prices were below prior peaks,” says realtor.com®’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “However, some big cities, San Jose, are making big strides toward recovery, with rents on pace to see new highs later this year.”