New data from Realtor.com’s Monthly Rental Report reveals that rental competition remained persistent in April, as the U.S. median rental prices hit a new record high of $1,827. April data from Realtor.com showed national rents maintained their record-breaking run that began in January 2021, despite posting a slightly smaller year-over-year gain than in March. The continued rent surge is attributed to the mismatch between rental supply and rising demand, largely from would-be homebuyers.
Some of these aspiring homeowners are staying in the rental market for longer than they may have intended, due to intensifying cost pressures driven by both the longstanding housing supply shortage and a more recent inflationary economy. If these trends continue, national asking rents will likely surpass 2022’s forecasted year-over-year growth projections (+7.1%) by end of year.
With rental demand on the rise, landlords with limited available units are able to adjust asking rents on both new and renewing leases to reflect the increasingly competitive market. In fact, the majority of landlords surveyed by Realtor.com reported plans to increase rental prices within the next 12 months. This could mean further rental affordability challenges, with many surveyed renters already feeling the squeeze on their finances and savings as inflation drives up the cost of everything from rent to regular household expenses.
In a statement prepared to accompany of the Realtor.com Monthly Rental Report, Danielle Hale, Realtor.com Chief Economist, said:
“April’s data illustrates the perfect storm of supply and demand dynamics behind the continued rent surge, from a low number of available rentals to higher for-sale housing costs forcing many would-be buyers to rent for longer than planned. Renters are being left with few options but to meet higher rents and, in some cases, even offer above asking—whether they can afford to or not. Avail’s new survey shows rents are not only maxing out renters’ housing budgets but are the biggest strain on their overall finances, even as inflation drives up expenses across the board.”
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Renters Struggling to Stay Afloat Amid Rising Costs