Single-family rents jump another 3%; is it time to buy a house instead?

Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports Contributor
December 24, 2019 - 1 min read

Rents rise again, especially on lower–priced properties

Single–family rents continued their upward climb last month, notching a 3.1 percent jump over a year prior. According to new data, the spike was worse on the lower–priced end of the market.

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Single–family rents get further out of reach

Affordable rentals just got, well, less affordable. According to the latest Single–Family Rent Index from CoreLogic, national rents jumped 3.1 percent over the year.

Lower–tier rental properties (those with rents under 75 percent of the area’s median price) saw the biggest jump, rising 3.6 percent since 2018. Higher–end rentals jumped just 2.9 percent.

Molly Boesel, CoreLogic’s principal economist, explains, “Increases in low–end rent prices have outpaced those on the high end for more than five years as newly–formed households push up demand for entry–level rentals.”

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Phoenix takes the crown once again

The spike was worse in markets like Phoenix, Seattle and Las Vegas. According to CoreLogic, these areas – “metros areas with limited new construction, low rental vacancies and strong local economies that attract new employees” – tend to see more rent increases on the whole.

Phoenix claimed the largest uptick in rents for the 11th straight month, notching a 6.8 percent increase. Seattle came in second at 5.8 percent, while Vegas came in third at 5.4 percent.

Buying a home is cheaper than renting one in these cities

Other cities with big jumps in single–family rents were Tucson, Arizona; Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Boston; Orlando, Florida; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Miami saw the lowest jumped in single–family rents with just a 1 percent increase.

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