Analysis of Rental Trends in Major U.S. Cities Reveals Surprising Shifts

A recent report from® sheds light on an intriguing trend in the rental market, particularly in the South, where rental prices have been experiencing a notable decline. In February, rents declined in 29 out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, marking a favorable turn for tenants who have witnessed significant price increases in recent years.

Jiayi Xu, an economist at, attributes this downward trend to the surge in new apartment construction across the Southern region. The increased supply of rental units has exerted downward pressure on prices, affording tenants greater financial flexibility beyond housing expenses.

Leading the pack in terms of the steepest rent reductions is the Memphis, TN, metropolitan area, where rents saw a significant 5% year-over-year decrease in February, with a median rent of $1,251 per month. Pablo Pereyra, principal broker for 901 REALTORS in Memphis, notes a slowdown in rental activity, attributing it partly to the balancing of the housing market and emphasizing the comparatively low rental costs in the area.

Following closely behind is Austin, TX, where rents declined by 4.4%. Brad Pauly, a real estate broker based in Austin, attributes this decline to the influx of new apartment developments, leading to increased competition among landlords for tenants.

Contrastingly, only 16 markets experienced a rise in rental prices during the same period. The New York City metro area registered the most significant increase, with prices soaring by 5.4% year over year in February, with a median rent of $2,852 per month.

The report, which examined listing rents for various types of residential properties across the 50 largest metros, highlighted notable shifts in rental prices in both urban and suburban areas.

Cities with the Most Pronounced Rent Decreases in February:

  1. Memphis, TN
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Atlanta, GA
  4. Nashville, TN
  5. St. Louis, MO

Cities with the Most Pronounced Rent Increases in February:

  1. New York City, NY
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Indianapolis, IN
  4. Boston, MA
  5. Kansas City, MO

These findings provide valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of the rental market, reflecting the interplay of factors such as construction activity, population growth, and regional economic conditions.

Clare Trapasso
Clare Trapasso
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