US Cities With the Fastest Growing Rent Increases

The cities with the fastest-growing rents in the U.S.
probably are not the ones you’d expect. That’s because they’re not the most
expensive cities for a renter to live in (e.g., San Francisco, New York City,
Washington, DC). Instead, rents are shooting up in places that seem like
bargains compared to those high-priced metropolises ($3,550 for a one-bedroom,
San Francisco? Really?). But if they keep up the pace—and they probably
will—these cities won’t be bargains for long.
Rents rose 2.7% across the country in March compared with a
year earlier, according to Apartment List, which analyzed its own data for the
report. That brought the median rent of a one-bedroom apartment to $1,150 and a
two-bedroom to $1,300.
And they jumped the highest year over year in Colorado
Springs, CO. Rents in the fast-growing city, about an hour away from Denver,
surged 11.4%, according to the report. That brought the median rent for a
one-bedroom to $790 and a two-bedroom to $1,010.
“Rents are going to continue to increase very quickly,”
Andrew Woo, data science manager at Apartment List, says of the Colorado city
as well as other fast-growing towns. “There are so many millennials moving
there. They’re really attracted by the quality of life there and strong
employment opportunities.”
Colorado Springs may have the biggest annual rent hike, but
these other cities weren’t far behind:
1. Orlando, FL: 8.9%
2. Providence, RI: 8.7%
3. Tampa, FL: 8.6%
4. Vancouver, WA: 7.3%
5. Reno, NV: 7.3%
6. Salt Lake City, UT: 7.2%
7. Austin, TX: 6.7%
8. Portland, OR: 6.6%
9. Fort Wayne, IN: 6.4%
It’s gotten so nuts in Colorado Springs that a day after
local real estate agent Monique Allison-Vollmer put up a listing for a rental
house in a good school district, she received 15 phone calls and 30 emails.
“It’s overwhelming,” says Allison-Vollmer, at Keller
Williams Partners.
She blames the housing bust for the pinch. New development
stalled in the aftermath of the financial crisis, when builders struggled to
secure financing. It didn’t pick up until a few years later—leaving the city
without enough homes to go around now that people are flocking in.
The large military community (nearby Fort Carson and the
U.S. Air Force Academy) as well as the state’s legalization of marijuana
(drawing not only stoners but also those in need of its medical benefits) have
also proved to be big draws, she says.
“I’ve had several [people] call me and say we’re looking for
rentals in the area because of the marijuana laws,” Allison-Vollmer says.
In Orlando, the jump in prices can at least partly be
attributed to a high number of foreclosures turning homeowners into renters,
says Ken Anderson, a local landlord and real estate broker at ApexOne Realty.
There is also a steady influx of new residents moving into
the home of Disney World, drawn to its attractions, golf courses, and
year-round warm weather, he says.
Many smaller landlords, who rent out just a single unit or
property, are keeping prices steady because they don’t realize what people will
pay to live there, Anderson says. But savvier property managers have begun to
jack them up.
Since October, Anderson has begun to raise rents by about
10% on his nearly two dozen rental homes.
“And I’ve been getting [them],” he says.
The median monthly rental price in the Florida city is $980
for a one-bedroom unit and $1,110 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the

Despite the hikes, putting a roof over one’s head was
nowhere near the heights of San Francisco or New York City, where a one-bedroom
rents for $3,300. In nearby Jersey City, NJ, it’s $2,550. Boston, at $2,500,
and the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, CA, at $2,200, rounded out the top
five most expensive cities to find a one-bedroom apartment.