U.S. single-family rent price growth continued its slowdown in February, dropping to 5%, with metro-level trends indicating that renters are perhaps seeking more affordable areas. For example, St. Louis — historically one of the least-expensive 20 rental markets for which CoreLogic publishes data — was at the bottom for gains in February 2022 but topped the index for growth in February 2023.
Western metros that posted substantial rent price increases one year ago have seen appreciation relax over the past year. In February 2022, Phoenix and Las Vegas ranked in the top five for annual rent price growth, 18.2% and 16.6%, respectively. One year later, those two metros are at the bottom for increases.
These rental price trends reflect general housing market dynamics, with CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index showing that highly populated Western metros posted mostly flat price changes year over year in February.
“Rental cost growth relaxed again in February but is still increasing nationwide year over year,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. “Less-expensive metros have emerged as those with the highest appreciating rental costs, as tenants contend with elevated rents and inflation. However, while the top U.S. metros for rental cost growth are increasing annually by about 8%, that is well below the rates of 20% to 40% seen one year ago.”
CoreLogic examines four tiers of rental prices and two property-type tiers. National single-family rent growth across those tiers, and the year-over-year changes, were as follows:
- Lower-priced (75% or less than the regional median): 7.7%, down from 12.7% in February 2022
- Lower-middle priced (75% to 100% of the regional median): 5.9%, down from 13.8% in February 2022
- Higher-middle priced (100% to 125% of the regional median): 5%, down from 13.8% inFebruary 2022
- Higher-priced (125% or more than the regional median): 3.5%, down from 12.8% in February 2022
- Attached versus detached: Attached single-family rental prices grew by 5.6% year over year in February, compared with the 3.9% increase for detached rentals
St. Louis posted the highest year-over-year increase in single-family rents in February 2023, at 7.8%. Charlotte, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida registered the next highest annual gains, both at 7.7%. Las Vegas and Phoenix saw the lowest annual rent price growth, both at 0.3%.
The next CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index will be released on May 16, featuring data for March 2023.
To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.