Rents jump in most of the country’s biggest cities

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

The runaway rent race

It’s getting harder and harder to be a renter, it seems. According to new data, rents are now up in 92 percent of the country’s largest cities.

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Rents continue their upward climb

According to the latest rent report from RENTCafe, the national average rent is up 3.2 percent over the last year. Rents are also up in 92 percent of the nation’s biggest 253 cities. Only 2 percent of cities saw rents decrease over the year.

The total national rent clocks in at $1,430, $44 higher than last year and $4 more than in February.

The cities with the biggest rent jumps were largely in the south. Midland and Odessa, Texas, saw the country’s largest increases at 14.6 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively. Arizona’s Mesa and Chandler, along with Nevada’s Henderson also saw rents rise more than 9 percent over the year.

Big cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas also saw large upticks, with rents increasing 7.8 percent.

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Where rents saw restraint

Of the nation’s biggest cities, only 2 percent saw rents decreases. Those cities included Pearland, Texas (down 2.3 percent); Santa Rosa, California (down 1.4 percent); Pembroke Pines, Florida (down 1.4 percent); Edison, New Jersey (down 1.1 percent); Baton Rouge, Louisiana (down 1 percent); College Station, Texas (down 0.7 percent); and Stamford, Connecticut (down 0.3 percent).

Though Houston didn’t see a downturn in rents, it did see the lowest increase among the country’s top 20 cities. Rents only rose by $10 — or 9 percent — over the last year.

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The cities with the lowest rents in the nation are currently Wichita, Kansas ($645 per month); Tulsa, Oklahoma ($687); Brownsville, Texas ($707); Toledo, Ohio ($715); and Killeen, Texas ($731).

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Are you looking to get out of the rent race altogether? Want to save money when you do? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.