Single-Family Rents Rise Most in at Least 16 Years

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

NOTD - 12%

That’s how much the rent on a single-family home rose in the year through December, the most in at least 16 years.

The increase between December 2020 and December 2021 was more than three times the 3.8% increase recorded between December 2019 and December 2020 and the biggest year-over-year increase since CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index started tracking the data in 2005. The index measures rent changes on the same single-family rental homes over time.

Record increases in both low- and high-price rental properties contributed to the overall gain. Low-price properties, defined as those charging less than 75% of the region’s median rent, saw rents jump 11.2% in December from a year ago. High-price properties, or those with rents greater than 125% of a region’s median, saw an increase of 11.9%.

More people are in the market for rentals, as consumers who would otherwise be looking to buy a home either get priced out because of super-high asking prices, or simply can’t find anything they like with the ultra-low inventory of homes for sale. Meanwhile, low unemployment, higher wages, and young adults forming new households are also boosting demand, said Jay Parsons, head of economics at real estate technology company RealPage, in a commentary earlier this month.

With occupancy rates at record highs, rentals are likely to keep getting more expensive and more difficult to find, too. The period of time when a rental unit is vacant has virtually disappeared in the current market. 

“People move out, others move in,” wrote Parsons. “There’s usually some time in between leases where the unit is marketed as available. That’s not really happening today. When renters give notice to move out of a unit, another prospective renter swoops in to lease the unit before the current resident even moves out.” 

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  1. CoreLogic. “Single-Family Annual Rent Growth Finishes 2021 at a New Record.”

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