U.S. Median rent increased 11% in 2021

Market Trend

U.S. Median rent increased 11% in 2021

The median asking rent in the U.S. increased 11 percent over the course of 2021 as inflation hit Americans in full force, according to a report from online rental marketplace Dwellsy.

That’s three times the rate of a normal year, in which rents might increase 3 to 4 percent overall.

Single-family rentals bore the brunt of inflation, with rents increasing 26 percent over the course of the year. By contrast, apartment rent inflation was only up 1 percent.

“For many renters, a single-family home was the ideal in 2021, with safe outdoor space and more room to work from home,” the report from Dwellsy states. “At the same time, demand from single family homebuyers escalated, driving prices up and causing more landlords to sell to homeowners, reducing the inventory of rentals.”

Pricier rentals in urban centers, which suffered from a lack of demand in 2020, saw a resurgence over the course of 2021, helping drive prices in those markets back up again.

Standout metro areas where rents surged over the course of the year include places like Naples, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, where rents increased 112 percent and 108 percent, respectively, between January 2021 and December 2021. In Naples, that meant that the median listing rent in January 2021 of $1,605 increased to $3,398 by December 2021. In Tucson, the median listing rent rose from $769 to $1,600 during the same period.

The metro with the highest median asking rent for the entire year across all rental types was Boston, Massachusetts, which saw median asking rent increase 9.6 percent over the course of the year to $2,741.

San Francisco and New York City followed close behind in second and third place, with rent increases of 11.5 and 10.6 percent, respectively, over the course of the year to median asking rents of $2,676 and $2,670.

Data for this report was drawn from Dwellsy and the U.S. Census Bureau.