3 of the 10 U.S. Cities Where Rents Rise the Most Are in Arizona

PHOENIX (stacker) – Lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic made many renters realize they could move to a place where they could get more returns, but the ramifications of the global health crisis didn’t stop there.

Months-long waiting times for common building materials, supply chain issues, more expensive construction products and the need for workers are among several pandemic-related factors that have contributed to the delay in housing development. This stagnation also plays a big part in why rents are higher today, with rents rising 15.3% year-over-year across the country. This is particularly evident in the Sun Belt – which includes Florida, Arizona and Texas – where the biggest increases in rent occur as more people move to warmer climates.

Stacker looked at the May 2022 data from the Apartment List rental platform to see which major cities saw the biggest year-over-year rental increases. To be included in the analysis, the city needed to have at least 350,000 inhabitants. In the event of a tie, the percentage change from the previous month was used.

Read on to see if your city is experiencing an increase in rental prices.

#10. Raleigh, North Carolina

City of Raleigh, North Carolina(City of Raleigh/raleighnc.gov)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,270

– Average rent for a two bedroom apartment: $1,445

– Change from May 2021: 20.9%

While Raleigh’s rents dropped in late 2021, they’ve risen again. Prospective homebuyers who have been excluded from Raleigh’s booming housing market continue to rent, which creates a supply shortage and raises average rents. Although Raleigh’s rents are going up, they are still affordable compared to other major cities in the country.

#9. Nashville, Tennessee

City of Nashville, Tennessee
City of Nashville, Tennessee(Pixabay/MGN)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,286

– Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,448

– Change from May 2021: 21.5%

Big tech companies like Oracle and Amazon are among the employers driving job growth in Nashville. More good jobs in the city also fuel population growth, and the housing supply has not been able to keep up.

While the pandemic has slowed real estate development, several apartment buildings will open in the next few years, which could ease rental prices.

#8. Austin, Texas

From 2010 to 2020, Austin's population exploded by over half a million people to 2.3 million...
From 2010 to 2020, Austin’s population has exploded from over half a million people to 2.3 million people, due in part to its affordability.(Floyd Wilde / CC BY-SA 2.0)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,455

– Average rent for a two bedroom apartment: $1,771

– Change from May 2021: 21.5%

From 2010 to 2020, Austin’s population has exploded from over half a million people to 2.3 million people, due in part to its affordability. Tech companies like Oracle and Tesla moved their Silicon Valley headquarters to Austin, while Apple and Google expanded their offices in Austin. Remote workers have also arrived from more expensive cities, putting more pressure on the housing market and keeping would-be landlords in rental situations.

The pandemic has also caused rents to fall below market rates, but now that people are moving again, rent prices are making up for lost time.

#7. Las Vegas

Many remote workers have moved to Las Vegas from more expensive cities and brought their...
Many remote workers have moved to Las Vegas from more expensive cities and brought their higher wages with them. This has allowed them to pay rents that are out of reach for existing residents.(Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,113

– Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,423

– Change from May 2021: 21.9%

Many remote workers have moved to Las Vegas from more expensive cities and brought their higher wages with them. This has allowed them to pay rents that are out of reach for existing residents.

In addition, outside investors and hedge funds are buying properties for sale, which means potential buyers continue to rent. As material shortages and other supply chain issues persist, the supply of new housing options has struggled to keep up.

#6. Tucson, Arizona

Nearly half of Tucson's population rents, but there's not enough housing supply to keep...
Nearly half of Tucson’s population rents, but there isn’t enough rental housing to meet demand, which has sent prices soaring. Several contributing factors are at play, including the focus on building single-family homes versus apartment buildings and the proliferation of apartments being used as short-term or vacation rentals.(SD Dirk / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

– Average rent for a one bedroom apartment: $959

– Average rent for a two bedroom apartment: $1,262

– Change from May 2021: 21.9%

Nearly half of Tucson’s population rents, but there isn’t enough rental housing to meet demand, which has sent prices soaring. Several contributing factors are at play, including the focus on building single-family homes versus apartment buildings and the proliferation of apartments being used as short-term or vacation rentals.

While residents who rent believe that price manipulation is at play, state law prohibits limiting how much a landlord can charge for rent. This has put increasing pressure on residents’ wallets, even though Tucson is still one of Arizona’s most affordable cities.

#5. Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix skyline.
Downtown Phoenix skyline.(AZFamily)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,232

– Average rent for a two bedroom apartment: $1,490

– Change from May 2021: 23.3%

A prime city in the Sun Belt, Phoenix is ​​considered accessible to those living outside the area, which has spurred population growth.

Supply chain and labor issues have led to a housing shortage. In addition, the 2008 housing bubble took a toll on the city and new construction was halted. Although things have picked up, supply has not met demand. This is evident in Phoenix’s 2022 rental vacancy rate of just 3%, half of what it normally is.

Investors also jumped at the chance to own rental properties in the area. They spent more than $13 billion buying apartments, causing sales prices – and rents – to soar.

#4. Mesa, Arizona

While rents in Mesa have risen sharply, single-family homes have risen even further: the...
While rents in Mesa have risen sharply, single-family homes have risen even more: the average sale price of a home is 55% higher in 2022 compared to 2020. This has kept prospective buyers on their rents and decreased the supply of rental units.(Dana Gibbons | Mesa Arizona City)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,290

– Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,488

– Change from May 2021: 24.9%

While rents in Mesa have risen sharply, single-family homes have risen even more: the average sale price of a home is 55% higher in 2022 compared to 2020. This has kept prospective buyers on their rents and decreased the supply of rental units.

Also fueling the rents is an influx of dollars from investors. In November 2021, investors bought three apartment complexes in Mesa for more than $354.5 million, betting that the city’s high population growth will translate to higher rents.

#3. Miami

The pandemic has fueled a massive increase in rents in Miami as remote workers - particularly...
The pandemic has fueled a massive rent increase in Miami as remote workers – particularly New Yorkers – flocked there to improve the weather, lower taxes and less restrictions on the pandemic.(Wyn Van Devanter / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,568

– Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,078

– Change from May 2021: 26.6%

The pandemic has fueled a massive rent increase in Miami as remote workers – particularly New Yorkers – flocked there to improve the weather, lower taxes and less restrictions on the pandemic.

Armed with higher rents in a rental market that looks cheap by comparison, renters looking for desirable neighborhoods are starting to offer more than homeowners are asking for, which drives prices up in some areas.

In response, Miami-Dade County enacted a law in March 2022 that requires homeowners to provide at least 60 days’ notice if a tenant’s rent increases by more than 5% and extends the eviction notice period. 30 to 60 days.

#2. Tampa, Florida

A growing population has caused Tampa's rental rates to rise and vacancy rates to fall to...
A growing population has caused Tampa’s rental rates to rise and vacancy rates to drop to an all-time low of 4.4%. More tenants are choosing to live on their own, which also exacerbates the amount of housing supply.(Gordon Tarpley / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,419

– Average rent for a two bedroom apartment: $1,751

– Change from May 2021: 27.6%

A growing population has caused Tampa’s rental rates to rise and vacancy rates to drop to an all-time low of 4.4%. More tenants are choosing to live on their own, which also exacerbates the amount of housing supply.

Supply levels are not expected to increase anytime soon. The housing bubble hit Florida hard, and development has not grown enough since then to meet current needs.

#1. New York

Nearly 4% of New Yorkers fled the city during the pandemic, eager for space and accessibility.
Nearly 4% of New Yorkers fled the city during the pandemic, eager for space and accessibility. Rents dropped to all-time lows in 2021, and tenants enjoyed a temporary reprieve from the city’s legendary high rents.(Felton Davis / CC BY 2.0)

– Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,956

– Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,066

– Change from May 2021: 31.8%

Nearly 4% of New Yorkers fled the city during the pandemic, eager for space and accessibility. Rents dropped to all-time lows in 2021, and tenants enjoyed a temporary reprieve from the city’s legendary high rents.

With the pandemic entering a less acute phase, people are returning to the city as jobs open, workers return to the office and remote learning ends. This has seen rents pick up, particularly in wealthier neighborhoods, as landlords try to make up for lost income and deal with higher costs.

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