August data shows renters are feeling the strain of higher costs, as Americans spent more than one-quarter (26.4%) of their monthly budgets on rents in August, on average, according to the Realtor.com® Monthly Rental Report released today. Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, coastal areas topped August’s list of least affordable rental markets, with rents accounting for the highest shares of household incomes in Miami (46.5%), Los Angeles (40.7%) and San Diego (37.1%).

“Our analysis underscores the very real rental affordability challenges that many Americans face today. Rents are significantly higher than in previous years and are taking up a substantial portion of incomes, which are growing at a slower pace than inflation,” said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Still, there are some bright spots for renters as of late. Based on the general rule of thumb that you should keep housing costs to under 30% of your paycheck, renters were able to follow best practice in the majority of large metros in August. Plus, as rent growth continued to cool, national rents didn’t hit a new record-high for the first time in nine months.1 If these trends and typical seasonal cooling persist, renters may be better able to keep housing costs to a relatively manageable portion of their budgets in the months ahead.”

Hale added, the U.S. median rental price declined for the first time since November 2021 in August, to $1,771 from $1,781 in July.Additionally, rent growth continued moderating on a year-over-year basis, down to a single-digit increase (+9.8%) after 13 straight months at a double-digit pace. However, national rents remained more than 20% higher than in August 2020 overall (+22.8%) and across all unit sizes: Studios at a median $1,489 (+21.2%), one-beds at a median $1,653 (22.6%), and two-beds at a median $1,964 (+23.2%).

August 2022 Rental Metrics – National

Unit SizeMedian RentChange over Aug. 2021Change over Aug. 2020
Overall$1,7719.8 %22.8 %
Studio$1,48911.8 %21.2 %
1-bed$1,6539.3 %22.6 %
2-bed$1,9649.1 %23.2 %

Rental affordability worsens nationwide and especially in coastal metros

Despite the cooldown in annual rent growth, August data indicates that rental affordability issues are rising. Nationally, rents accounted for a higher share of renters’ incomes in August compared to last year (26.4% vs. 25.7%, on average). Among the 50 largest U.S. metros, nine had a rent-to-income share that was higher than 30%, with coastal markets dominating the top 10 list of least affordable metros in August (see table below).

August 2022 Rental Metrics – Top 10 Least Affordable Markets, by Rent-to-Income Share

RankMetroAug.2022RentShareAug. 2022MedianRent2022MonthlyHHIncomeAug. 2021RentShareAug. 2021MedianRent2021MonthlyHHIncome
1Miami, Fla.46.5 %$2,626$5,64143.1 %$2,250$5,216
2Los Angeles, Calif.40.7 %$2,946$7,23440.2 %$2,675$6,648
3San Diego, Calif.37.1 %$2,888$7,79236.0 %$2,590$7,186
4New York, N.Y.36.3 %$2,807$7,72632.8 %$2,362$7,206
5Boston, Mass.35.1 %$3,040$8,65430.7 %$2,475$8,065
6Tampa, Fla.32.9 %$1,789$5,43333.9 %$1,710$5,050
7Riverside, Calif.32.4 %$2,107$6,50835.4 %$2,105$5,947
8Orlando, Fla.32.0 %$1,842$5,76630.1 %$1,620$5,377
9Providence, R.I.31.9 %$2,035$6,38629.9 %$1,758$5,885
10Chicago, Ill.29.7 %$2,061$6,94525.8 %$1,650$6,397

Middle-America offers renters relative affordability

Rental affordability did vary by location in August, with renters putting a relatively lower share of their paychecks towards rents in the vast majority of the largest metros. In fact, compared to the national rent-to-income share, rents were significantly more affordable in many markets in Middle America. Nevertheless, even in these areas, affordability has declined over the past year, with rental costs accounting for a higher share of incomes than in August 2021 in seven of the top 10 most affordable markets (see table below).

August 2022 Rental Metrics – Top 10 Most Affordable Markets, by Rent-to-Income Share

RankMetroAug.2022RentShareAug.2022MedianRent2022MonthlyHHIncomeAug.2021RentShareAug. 2021MedianRent2021MonthlyHHIncome
1Oklahoma City, Okla.17.5 %$973$5,57016.7 %$848$5,083
2Minneapolis, Minn.20.1 %$1,545$7,67420.8 %$1,499$7,199
3St. Louis, Mo.20.3 %$1,246$6,14320.0 %$1,153$5,765
4Kansas City, Mo.20.6 %$1,306$6,34719.5 %$1,169$6,004
5Louisville, Ky.20.6 %$1,158$5,62519.1 %$1,027$5,372
6Columbus, Ohio20.7 %$1,280$6,18920.2 %$1,172$5,811
7Cincinnati, Ohio21.3 %$1,313$6,15920.6 %$1,183$5,749
8Indianapolis, Ind.21.7 %$1,284$5,91721.0 %$1,160$5,519
9Birmingham, Al.21.9 %$1,194$5,44520.7 %$1,090$5,258
10Houston, Texas22.3 %$1,391$6,23822.5 %$1,296$5,750

With higher rents leaving less money in renters’ pockets each month, more than half (60%) of renters report that higher rents and household expenses are their biggest cause of financial strain, according to a recent survey from Avail (a part of Realtor.com®). Through September 25th, renters who are struggling with higher costs can enter Realtor.com®‘s Free Rent Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $2,500 cash prize to put toward their monthly rent.

August 2022 Rental Metrics – 50 Largest U.S. Metro Areas

MetroOverall
Median Rent
Overall
Rent YY
Studio
Median
Rent
Studio
Rent YY
1-br
Median
Rent
1-br Rent
YY
2-br
Median
Rent
2-br Rent
YY
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.$1,7604.2 %$1,7067.8 %$1,6593.8 %$1,8922.5 %
Austin-Round Rock, Texas$1,7659.5 %$1,53216.1 %$1,6178.7 %$1,9598.8 %
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md.$1,7906.4 %$1,5916.6 %$1,7016.2 %$1,9127.5 %
Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.$1,1949.6 %$965-9.8 %$1,1378.1 %$1,23010.2 %
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.$3,04022.8 %$2,79631.6 %$2,78718.6 %$3,38426.0 %
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y.$1,2918.0 %$8401.8 %$1,18811.3 %$1,4789.3 %
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.$1,6317.9 %$1,57014.5 %$1,53710.2 %$1,7535.4 %
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wisc.$2,06124.9 %$1,76152.8 %$1,98824.1 %$2,27621.1 %
Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.$1,31311.1 %$1,18211.0 %$1,25210.4 %$1,3526.3 %
Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio$1,23611.8 %$91815.5 %$1,18711.2 %$1,38515.1 %
Columbus, Ohio$1,2809.2 %$1,0585.8 %$1,2079.7 %$1,3567.1 %
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas$1,60911.4 %$1,40011.3 %$1,49712.7 %$1,89110.3 %
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.$1,9775.1 %$1,6322.1 %$1,8424.1 %$2,2895.5 %
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.$1,3028.7 %$1,13014.8 %$1,14510.4 %$1,4356.7 %
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.$1,66110.8 %$1,40424.6 %$1,4875.1 %$1,91512.6 %
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas$1,3917.4 %$1,3094.1 %$1,2807.7 %$1,5375.8 %
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.$1,28410.7 %$1,0999.9 %$1,21213.2 %$1,3987.7 %
Jacksonville, Fla.$1,4745.5 %$1,19918.3 %$1,3734.8 %$1,5753.5 %
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.$1,30611.7 %$9552.4 %$1,23413.5 %$1,51212.0 %
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.$1,5412.3 %$1,01912.2 %$1,4293.2 %$1,6430.1 %
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.$2,94610.1 %$2,34514.8 %$2,7168.8 %$3,4347.6 %
Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind.$1,15812.8 %$1,02316.2 %$1,09111.0 %$1,2329.8 %
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.$1,33610.3 %$1,20611.2 %$1,3139.9 %$1,3739.8 %
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.$2,62616.7 %$2,22720.3 %$2,35517.7 %$2,93315.3 %
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisc.$1,5388.7 %$1,1979.4 %$1,4239.2 %$1,7576.6 %
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wisc.$1,5453.1 %$1,2030.3 %$1,4591.9 %$1,8501.4 %
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tenn.$1,69710.8 %$1,6454.6 %$1,63010.8 %$1,77713.0 %
New Orleans-Metairie, La.$1,3917.8 % N/A
New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn.$2,80718.9 %$2,55322.3 %$2,49815.0 %$3,10716.2 %
Oklahoma City, Okla.$97314.9 %$86723.8 %$82810.4 %$1,05017.4 %
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.$1,84213.8 %$1,63613.1 %$1,73114.4 %$2,05613.3 %
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Penn.-N.J.-Del.-M.D.$1,7678.4 %$1,46614.1 %$1,7167.9 %$1,8893.4 %
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.$1,6472.1 %$1,2994.1 %$1,5432.2 %$1,784-1.2 %
Pittsburgh, Penn.$1,5249.3 %$1,37311.0 %$1,49810.5 %$1,5522.9 %
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.$1,8479.1 %$1,4635.7 %$1,7607.9 %$2,1019.9 %
Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass.$2,03515.8 % N/A
Raleigh, N.C.$1,65112.2 %$1,51510.9 %$1,53612.8 %$1,8039.4 %
Richmond, Va.$1,4059.4 %$1,26015.6 %$1,32112.4 %$1,5497.6 %
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.$2,1070.1 %$1,321-6.2 %$1,9051.1 %$2,4010.8 %
Rochester, N.Y.$1,3098.8 %$1,09425.8 %$1,20610.9 %$1,50712.9 %
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif.$1,9553.2 %$1,550-7.2 %$1,7881.3 %$2,0653.4 %
San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas$1,2949.8 %$1,0410.4 %$1,21610.6 %$1,4668.5 %
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.$2,88811.5 %$2,33911.5 %$2,71910.7 %$3,22111.4 %
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.$3,1348.6 %$2,62910.5 %$2,8606.5 %$3,6559.6 %
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.$3,35311.9 %$2,67511.7 %$3,11111.7 %$3,78011.3 %
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.$2,1956.8 %$1,8209.9 %$2,1735.1 %$2,5049.1 %
St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.$1,2468.1 %$9934.4 %$1,2016.7 %$1,3166.1 %
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.$1,7894.6 %$1,75311.3 %$1,6683.4 %$1,9291.5 %
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.$1,4175.5 %$1,28510.7 %$1,3825.2 %$1,4511.2 %
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W. Va.$2,1998.0 %$1,8158.6 %$2,0997.8 %$2,5476.1 %

*Unit-specific metrics for New Orleans and Providence, R.I. excluded while rental data is under review.

Methodology

Rental data as of August 2022 for units advertised as for-rent on Realtor.com®. Rental units include apartment communities as well as private rentals (condos, townhomes, single-family homes). All units were studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom units. National rents were calculated by averaging the medians of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Realtor.com® began publishing regular monthly rental trends reports in October 2020 with data history going back to March 2019.

Rental affordability analysis: The affordable monthly rent is calculated by applying the 30% rule to the estimated 2022 monthly median household income nationwide ($6,716 across the 50 largest U.S. metros, on average) and in each metro. The monthly median household income is derived from the annual median household income data sourced from Claritas. Due to the methodology changes noted below, Realtor.com has made historical revisions to its prior affordability analyses. For our most recently published affordability analysis on February 2022 data published in March 2022, the national rent-to-income share has been updated to 25.0%.

Note on new methodology: With the release of its August 2022 Monthly Rental Report, Realtor.com® incorporated a new and improved methodology for capturing and reporting rental listing trends and metrics. As a result of these changes, the rental data released since September 2022 will not be directly comparable with previous releases, but future data releases, including historical data, will consistently apply the new methodology. See more details here.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

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