High-priced rentals driving single-family rent growth

Single-family rent growth was up 4.3% year over year in March, driven by the fastest increase in high-end property rents in over 14 years, according to CoreLogic.

Per the company’s Single-Family Rent Index, March’s rent growth is up annually from 3.0% in the same month last year and a robust improvement from the low of 1.4% recorded last June. The single-family rental market continues to reap the benefits of recent residential migration patterns, with Americans moving away from density not only in the communities they call home, but also the properties in which they live.

“The CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index shows a preference shift to standalone properties as renters seek more space in less dense areas,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. “Prior to the pandemic, rents for detached properties and attached properties grew at similar rates. However, starting in June 2020, rent growth for detached properties accelerated and by March, grew at five times the rent growth rate of attached properties.”

Detached properties saw their rent prices increase 6.9% annually in March, up from 2.9% in March 2020 to reach a record high in rent growth for the property type. On the other hand, attached properties — duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, rowhouses and rented condos — saw just 1.3% yearly rent growth in March, down from 2.7% in March 2020.

Higher-priced rentals, in particular, are seeing rents jump, logging annual rent growth of 5% in March. That’s up from 2.8% in March 2020 and the largest year-over-year climb since August 2006.

Rent growth in the lower price tiers remains below pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the uneven, K-shaped recovery the country is experiencing. With lower-wage workers disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis, rent prices for the lowest price tier increased just 3.2% year over year in March, down from 3.8% in the same month one year prior.


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