Single-family rental market continues to display strength

U.S. single-family rent growth strengthened overall in March despite some weaknesses in specific markets.

Single-family rent increases in March 2024 registered a 3.4% year-over-year gain, unchanged from February, according to CoreLogic’s latest Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI). The SFRI analyzes single-family rent price changes at the national and major-metro levels. The median monthly cost for a U.S. three-bedroom home was $2,052 in February.

Of the 20 metro areas CoreLogic tracks, only six posted rent prices that were less expensive than the national average. Three metros in the South (Austin, Miami and New Orleans) posted annualized declines. Meanwhile, coastal job hubs again led the way for rent growth, indicating that Americans who rent in expensive metros can shoulder the additional cost burden.

Seattle posted the highest year-over-year increase in single-family rents in March 2024 at 6.3%. New York was next with an annual gain of 5.3%, followed by Boston at 5.2%. 

“U.S. single-family rent growth strengthened overall in March, though some weaknesses are revealed in the latest numbers,” Molly Boesel, principal economist for CoreLogic, said in a statement. “Overbuilt areas, such as Austin, Texas continued to soften, decreasing by 3.5% annually in March.”

CoreLogic examined four tiers of single-family rental homes: lower-priced (75% or less than the regional median), lower-middle-priced (75% to 100% of the regional median), higher-middle-priced (100% to 125% of the regional median) and higher-priced (125% or more than the regional median). It also analyzed attached and detached properties. 

Yearly price appreciation in March ranged from 3.4% for the lower-middle-priced tier to 2% for the lower-priced tier. Detached homes posted appreciation of 3.4%, while rent prices for attached homes fell by 0.6% year over year. 

“For the first time in 14 years, single-family, attached properties posted a year-over-year decline,” Boesel added. “The continued strength in single-family detached rents indicates that potential homebuyers who are priced out of the home-purchase market are choosing to rent similar alternatives.”

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