TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The United State’s rental markets are starting to calm down, according to new cost data from real estate company Redfin. The national median rent is up just under 2%, which the company said was the smallest increase since May 2021.
Rent is leveling out as Redfin said landlords are dealing with high vacancy levels caused by both high costs for rent and an increasing inventory. Compared to a year ago, Redfin said rents were nearly 10 times lower. However, it’s still high compared to pre-pandemic prices.
In Tampa, rent prices were up 4%.
“February was the ninth straight month in which rent growth slowed on a year-over-year basis. Rents fell 0.3% from a month earlier,” Redfin said. “Still, the median asking rent remained 21.4% higher than it was in February 2020, the month before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic.”
For Tampa, the 4% increase is among the higher price increases across the country, though not near the top of the list. The highest increase reported by Redfin was in Charlotte, N.C., which had rents increase more than 14% year over year.
Price-wise, though, Tampa still has a high-dollar value, consistent with several months of high costs. Median asking rent in The Big Guava was reported as $2,189 per month, compared to the national median of $1,937. In Charlotte, by comparison, the median rent was listed as $1,939, just $2 more than the national.
In multiple big metro areas, such as Austin, Texas, or Baltimore, Md., rent prices have fallen in the past year, by 6.5% and 2.2%, respectively. The biggest drop shown in Redfin’s rent price review was in Austin, though New Orleans, La. also had a similar drop of 6.4%.
“Landlords are slowing their roll on rent increases because they’re grappling with a rise in vacancies as an influx of new apartments hits the market and demand slows from its peak,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said. “Rents are likely close to hitting a floor, though. That’s because stubbornly high inflation is boosting expenses for landlords, so instead of dropping rents they may seek to lure renters with other concessions, like free parking or a discounted security deposit.”
Marr continued, saying that rent growth is slowing, but not as much as expected, partly due to how the labor market has held up, adding to demand for housing. He said that the labor market was also working to keep inflation “stubbornly high” as rent prices remain a “major contributor to inflation.”
As of the most recent Consumer Price Index, rent remains a big driver of the overall national inflation levels, making up nearly 50% of all increases, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the four Florida cities reviewed by Redfin, rent prices were increasing, though some by bigger proportions than others.
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