January 2024 Rent Report

Yearly declines in rent prices nationally continued in December, falling by less than a percentage point from this time one year ago. Last month’s modest decline of 0.78 percent marks the third time in a row that rents dropped when reviewed on a year-over-year basis.

December’s decline was smaller than recent rent drops. Year-over-year declines were down by 2.09 percent in November and slightly below one-third of 1 percent in October. 

On a monthly basis, asking rents declined for the fourth consecutive time, though declines from November to December slowed by just -0.1 percent. Current asking rents decreased by 0.11 percent month-over-month, compared to -0.57 monthly percentage drop between October and November and a little over 2 percent between August and September.

The current national median price for an apartment is now $1,964. Rent prices peaked in August 2022 at $2,054.

December’s asking rent marks a slight decrease – a percentage change of 0.1 percent – from November, when prices were $1,967. December is the third month in a row that median rent prices have dipped below $2,000.

December’s modest price drop signals a return to normalcy in the market following the pandemic, when prices saw double-digit gains between October 2021 and August 2022, spiking by 11.5 percent, with prices jumping from $1,839 to $2,054. That September initiated a steady decline in prices until February 2023, when rents dropped to $1,937. Since then, rent prices have rallied, peaking in August.  

Rents since the pandemic have risen by 23 percent, adding $371 to monthly rent prices. That’s an annual rate of 5.8 percent, still above pre-pandemic norms.

Overall Rental Market Summary:

Rent growth nationally is being diminished by lackluster demand and seasonal trends. Rents are also experiencing seasonal price declines amid the fall and winter months following peaks in July and August. Another factor contributing to downward pressure on rental markets is a construction boom, which in recent years has led to rising supply and vacancies. In response, landlords and management companies are offering tenants a host of concessions and perks, from a month of free rent to flexible lease terms, in a bid to boost leasing activity. 

Since January to December of 2023, prices have risen from $1,942 to $1,964, or 1.13 percent. 

Regionally, rent prices climbed in the Midwest and Northeast, while falling in the South and West. Asking rent in the Midwest climbed by 3.7 percent. Currently, at $1,434, the region is still over $1,000 cheaper than the Northeast and over $900 in the West. Despite its standing as the most affordable region in the U.S., prices in the Midwest have risen by 17 percent, or $211, since pre-pandemic lows of 2019.

Median rents continued to fall in the South for the fourth consecutive month. Yearly declines there dropped by a little over a single percentage point in December and by just -0.37 percent in November. Asking rents in the South are $1,632, also far below rents in the Northeast and West. 

Asking rents in the Northeast continue to be the highest in the nation, currently at $2,439, witnessing a 1.7 percent increase every year and a $41 uptick in price since December 2022. In the West, on a yearly basis, prices dropped by 0.6 percent, to $2,346. The decline in the West is driven by metros in the Mountain West, where a pandemic-era boom has cooled, bringing a degree of affordability back to the region.

Rental market summary: Markets up, markets down

State-level markets witnessed almost a 60/40 split between yearly price gains and declines. In December, 61.9 percent of states in the study were up year over year compared to 38.1 percent revealing yearly declines. On a monthly scale, 35.7 percent of markets were up compared to 64.29 percent trending downward.

Rental Market Summary/Markets Up, Markets Down

States with largest increase/decrease in asking rents annually

The following states have experienced the greatest changes in rent prices year over year.

Mississippi, the only state from the South on the list, led in yearly gains in December by 14.67 percent, although with monthly price changes at 3.74 percent. In the Northeast, New Hampshire rents rose by 12.8 percent despite price declines compared to November of nearly 1.5 percent. 

In Michigan, rent prices on a yearly basis experienced a substantial uptick of 12.47 percent and modest monthly gains of 0.17 percent. Another Midwest state witnessing notable rent gains was Minnesota, where rents rose by 11.65 percent annually.

Steep declines were felt in Florida, where rents fell by 9.21 percent on a yearly basis. The Sunshine State was followed by the Western states of Idaho and Oregon, which saw the second- and third-highest yearly declines of 5.76 percent and 5.08 percent, respectively. The fourth-largest state with year-over-year declines was Washington, where asking rents are hovering at $2,219 – a downturn of 4.04 percent since last year.

Asking rents by metro area

In the West, Los Angeles and Seattle each saw sizable gains. Notably, San Jose continues to be the most expensive West Coast metro in the study, with monthly rents up by 3.08 percent and by a substantial 9.48 percent year over year. Median monthly rent in San Jose is currently $3,795, outpacing Los Angeles and Seattle, where rents are $3,515 and $2,903, respectively. Rents in Phoenix also experienced a notable yearly 5 percent gain. The median price of an apartment there is currently $2,104.

Leading yearly metro declines in December was Salt Lake City, where rents dropped sharply, by 20.75 percent. Austin experienced the second largest decline among metros in the study, with a 12.5 percent decline year over year, followed by the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro, where rents fell by 9.3 percent. Asking rents in Austin and Las Vegas are currently $1,985 and $1,638 respectively.  

In Portland, rents dropped by 6.72 percent year over year, with rents currently at $2,302. Further afield, in Miami, rents, currently at $2,915, experienced a downslide of 7.67 percent on a yearly basis. Despite the drop, Miami remains the most expensive metro in the U.S. South. 

Elsewhere in the South, rents have dropped in Raleigh, Houston, Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans between 6 and 12 percent yearly.

The following CBSAs have experienced the greatest changes in rent prices year over year.

About this report

Our January 2024 Rent Report highlights year-over-year rent trends and price fluctuations that renters may experience in various parts of the United States. We compare rent prices across bedroom types to determine which of the country's most populated metros are becoming more affordable or more expensive for renters. States and metros with insufficient inventory are excluded from this report.

Methodology

Rent. analyzed rental property prices in December 2023, the last full month of data, from Rent.'s available inventory to identify our median rent prices at the national, state and metro levels. Our analysis combines inventory and bedroom types into one simple median that covers all available rental units at the time.

The top 50 metropolitan areas in our analysis are determined by U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for 2021.

More detailed information about our methodology can be found here.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment. The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional legal or financial advice as they may deem it necessary.

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