For most of last year, the biggest increases in average apartment rent across the country were found in big cities and metro areas along the coasts. But in this year’s second quarter, the rest of the nation started catching up. In states like Texas and Florida, and through the South and Midwest, rents jumped pulling closer to trends much of the country had already experienced.
Similarly, many of those bigger coastal cities and high population centers saw some price moderation as rent leveled back towards historical changes year-over-year. By sheer numbers, the highest rents overall stayed where expected, in spots like California, Florida and the Northeast. And the cheapest rent prices lined the Great Plains, Deep South and exurban Texas.
For this report, we examined rent prices in cities with a population above 50,000 and a qualifying number of available rental units. Those prices in almost 200 cities to those same spots a year later in 2022’s second quarter, comparing cities in the same population windows. We ran the same survey for each qualifying state and nationwide, as well. Below are the results of those studies, divided between one- and two-bedroom apartment units.
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National average rent price trends
Average apartment rent across the nation is up again from this time last year. Nationwide, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment rose by 12.2 percent year-over-year. Rents now average $1,848, up $201 from last year’s first quarter. That’s a rise of $67 from the first quarter of 2022.
For two bedrooms, the increase was slightly higher. Average rents were up nearly 14 percent, to $2,193. That’s an increase of $267 a month from a year ago and $87 from a quarter ago.
- 1-BR $1,848 (12.20%)
- 2-BR $2,193 (13.83%)
State average rent price trends
Rents in the first quarter of 2021, rose steeply, overcorrecting from pandemic lows. A year later, rents are still heading up in most parts of the country. Of the states with enough qualifying units, 85 percent saw increases in one-bedroom rents and 81 percent for two-bedrooms.
Just six states enjoyed a decrease in one-bedroom rents. Of those, just one — Connecticut — decreased double digits. On the flip side, 18 states were up over 10 percent, with the biggest jumper — Tennessee — up nearly 40 percent. Two-bedroom units experienced a drop in just eight states, with Kansas the lone state down over 15 percent. Of those that increased, 23 rose more than 10 percent. Kentucky led the charge, the only state up over 40 percent.
States that saw the highest increases in yearly rents for both apartment sizes mostly clustered along the Lower Midwest and Deep South as that part of the nation caught up to broader price trends. The biggest drops could be seen throughout the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region.
One-bedroom rent price trends by state
One-bedroom rents kept on rolling in the second quarter. Most every state saw a year-to-year increase in one-bedroom rents, 85 percent in all. Eight states were up over 20 percent and one was nearly 40 percent.
States throughout the Mid-South and places like Texas and Florida saw the highest increases, while the Central Plains and Great Lakes experienced the largest drops in one-bedroom rents. Tennessee was the only state up over a third, an increase of 38.24 percent. That rose the Volunteer State’s rank of 28th highest rent last year all the way up to 19th in 2022.
Utah, Illinois and New Jersey were also up. Eighteen states were up by double-digit percentages. New Jersey, despite its 25.52 percent increase, only rose one spot in the highest rent ranking to fourth at $2,611. Indiana saw the ninth-highest increase year-over-year but still has just the 12th lowest rent at $1,870. Kentucky, up 17.55 percent, offers the 11th lowest rent.
Only six states were lucky enough to see an overall decrease in rent prices. Connecticut was the only state to drop double digits, down nearly 20 percent to $1,472. The drop moved the state from having the seventh highest rent in 2021 to the 20th in 2022. Kansas was down just under 10 percent, falling from ninth on the list of lowest rent last year to third at $906 a month. Ohio’s already low rents continued to slide, down 2.51 percent to $1,008, the nation’s eighth lowest.
Pennsylvania often bucks the trends of the rest of its Northeast neighbors. That continued in Q2 2022, down 8.28 percent, decreasing from the 12th-highest rent to the 18th in a year. South Dakota had the lowest one-bedroom rents in the nation overall, as it did a year ago. Its $723 monthly average is just 1.89 percent higher than last year.
10 states with the highest percentage growth in one-bedroom rent
- Tennessee $1,479 (38.24%)
- Utah $1,586 (28.61%)
- Illinois $1,551 (25.54%)
- New Jersey $2,611 (25.52%)
- Georgia $1,555 (24.47%)
- Florida $2,092 ((3.01%)
- Texas $1,398 (21.84%)
- Washington $2,285 (20.65%)
- Indiana $1,241 (19.24%)
- Kentucky $1,188 (17.55%)
10 states with the steepest percentage decrease in one-bedroom rent
Two-bedroom rent price trends by state
Rent price trends for two-bedroom units didn’t differ significantly from one-bedrooms. States like New Jersey, Georgia and Florida saw similar increases in both unit types. The highest increases were down the Mississippi valley. The steepest decreases were in the Upper Midwest and the Plains, as were many for one-bedrooms.
Overall, 23 states experienced double-digit percentage increases from this time last year. Eight states were up over 20 percent, with Michigan over 30 percent and Kentucky up more than 40 percent. Kentucky rents reached $1,343 a month on average, raising it from the 35th most expensive state up to the 28th. Rents in Michigan increased to $1,614, pushing it up six spots to the 24th priciest.
New Jersey, with its 21.66 percent increase from last year, became the second-priciest state, up from fifth, with rents at $3,681. The most expensive state was Massachusetts, which was third a year ago. The Bay State experienced an 18.12 percent increase from the second quarter last year, raising rents to $3,700. Last year, Mississippi was the cheapest state. The Magnolia State saw the seventh-biggest increase of any state over the year, but its rents are still just $813 a month and the second most-affordable nationwide.
Just eight states saw a decrease in year-over-year rents for two-bedroom units. Two of those, Kansas and Connecticut, exceeded a 10 percent drop. Two-bedroom rents in Kansas dropped a precipitous 29 percent, dropping rents down to $803 a month on average. That makes Kansas the cheapest state overall for two bedrooms, a big jump from 12th a year ago.
Connecticut had a 13 percent decline in rents from this time last year. However, despite the drop, its $2,154 monthly rent is good for the 12th priciest. The good news is that’s a steep decline from the sixth-highest in the second quarter of 2021.
10 states with the highest percentage growth in two-bedroom rent
10 states with the steepest percentage decrease in two-bedroom rent
City average rent price trends
City-to-city comparisons show many similarities to state-state level data, but there are deviations. To make comparisons, we divided the data up by population.
Rent price trends in large cities
With few exceptions, the biggest cities tend to have the highest rents. Increases in large city rents are found in places like the South, Midwest and Florida, the places where they’ve fallen are throughout the Northeast and industrial Midwest.
Rent price trends for both one- and two-bedroom units generally follow the same patterns. But, the difference becomes less pronounced the bigger the city. A large city is any with a population over 250,000.
One-bedroom rent price trends in large cities
Among the 10 highest increases, two are found in Florida, another two in California and one in Washington State. Prices in the Northeast haven’t jumped as high as in other places, except New Jersey. The Great Lakes region is where renters can find some of the sharpest rent decreases.
In all, 26 large cities saw year-to-year rent increases of over 10 percent for one-bedrooms in the second quarter. A dozen were up over 20 percent, and eight cities were over 30 percent. Towards the top of the list are three cities that saw flight away from larger nearby cities. Austin saw the highest rent increases among every city size. Its rents increased a whopping 113.86 percent to $3,134 a month on average. That’s the eighth highest rent of any large city, up from 37th last year.
Long Beach, CA, just outside Los Angeles, and Jersey City, NJ, across the river from New York City both had rents up around 50 percent. Long Beach had the third highest increase of any city of any size, second to Jersey City at $4,218. San Diego was up 26.8 percent and Miami was up 29 percent, the seventh and fifth highest rents of any large city, respectively.
Sixteen large cities experienced a decrease in rent from year to year. And only one, Cleveland, was down over 15 percent. The Forest City’s $1,140 one-bedroom rent was a drop of 20.17 percent from a year ago. That’s the second steepest drop of any city of any size.
Baltimore rents decreased by 12.9 percent, slipping from the 19th highest rent last year down to 30th for large cities. Lubbock, TX, tied for the lowest rent of any city of any size, despite a population of over a quarter million. Its $666 a month rent was down 3.1 percent from last year, the 11th sharpest drop for large cities.
10 large cities with the highest percentage growth in one-bedroom rent
- Austin TX $3,134 (113.86%)
- Long Beach CA $2,825 (50.55%)
- Jersey City NJ $4,218 (49.98%)
- Durham NC $1,597 (35.39%)
- Nashville TN $2,312 (34.79%)
- Portland OR $2,214 (33.91%)
- Lexington KY $1,191 (33.66%)
- Tampa FL $1,751 (30.25%)
- Miami FL $3,174 (29.02%)
- San Diego CA $3,261 (26.80%)
10 large cities with the steepest percentage decrease in one-bedroom rent
Two-bedroom rent price trends in large cities
The cities where prices are up most for two-bedrooms are in the Pacific Northwest, Mid-South and the Mid-Atlantic. Again, the Great Lakes is the spot to find the sharpest declines in year-to-year rents, with smatterings in the South and West.
As it did for one-bedroom prices, Austin also suffered the highest increases in two-bedroom rents of any sized city. Up 50.18 percent, rents jumped to $2,302 a month. That figure pushed Music City from 46th priciest large city up to 24th. And, just as for one-bedrooms, Jersey City is also the most expensive of any city of any size for two bedrooms. Its average rent is up 48.22 percent from this time last year, the third-steepest hike for large cities.
Portland, OR, saw the third-highest increase of any big city up 46.56 percent from a year ago. Tulsa, OK, up 44 percent, was fourth. While Portland’s rents are pricey at $3,246, Tulsa’s are $1,184. That’s the sixth-cheapest large city rent despite the steep increase. Philadelphia, the most populous among the 15 cities with the highest increases, had the ninth sharpest rise but carries just the 12th highest rent.
Chula Vista, CA, saw the biggest drop in rent of any city size, down nearly 40 percent. In Q2 2021, it held the 12th most expensive big city rent. A year later, that’s dropped to 40th. With a modest 18 percent decrease, Charlotte, NC, had the third biggest drop of any sized city, to $1,447.
With a 15.40 percent decline, Indianapolis dropped from the 16th cheapest rent for large cities to the fifth. New Orleans, just over 13 percent, fell from 17th to 25th. Lubbock has the lowest big city rent overall, at just $830. That’s down 5.3 percent from last year, 11th sharpest when it was second-cheapest.
10 large cities with the highest percentage growth in two-bedroom rent
- Austin TX $2,302 (50.18%)
- Jersey City NJ $6,007 (48.22%)
- Portland OR $3,246 (46.56%)
- Tulsa OK $1,184 (43.98%)
- Raleigh NC $1,889 (41.72%)
- Chandler AZ $2,544 (39.78%)
- Nashville TN $3,042 (37.50%)
- Lexington KY $1,350 (35.56%)
- Philadelphia PA $3,308 (35.12%)
- Seattle WA $3,552 (32.64%)
10 large cities with the steepest percentage decrease in two-bedroom rent price
Rent price trends in medium cities
Price trends for one- and two-bedroom rents in medium cities experienced similar fluctuations. The biggest increases moved away from secondary East Coast cities to Texas and the Pacific Northwest. Decreases cluster along the southeastern coast and in Texas college towns. For this study, cities with populations between 100,000 and 250,000 are medium-sized.
One-bedroom rent price trends in medium cities
An astounding 53 of the nation’s medium-sized cities saw an increase from this time last year. Thirty-five were up over 10 percent and 21 over 20 percent. The 10 cities with the largest gains were all up over 30 percent. Topping the list is Round Rock, TX. Rents in the Austin satellite city were up by over half, 50.48 percent, to $1,564. Three of the five midsized cities with the highest increases were in California. Costa Mesa, Fremont and Huntington Beach all saw rises above 34 percent.
Cambridge, MA, carries the highest rent for any midsized city, at $3,811 a month. Its 33.28 percent increase pushed that ranking up from the third highest last year. Little Rock, AR, had the eighth sharpest rise in rents, but at $974 a month for rent, it s still the seventh lowest among medium cities.
Just seven midsized cities saw a decrease in one-bedroom rents. Four of those are in Texas, led by College Station. Its 18 percent decline was the third-largest of any city of any size. Midland, down 9.19 percent, has the ninth lowest rents, falling from 16th year to year. But despite a 2.5 percent drop, Frisco still carries the 22nd highest medium-sized city rent, down from 16th last year.
10 medium cities with the highest percentage growth in one-bedroom rent
10 medium cities with the steepest percentage decrease in one-bedroom rent
Two-bedroom rent price trends in medium cities
Medium city two-bedroom rents experienced similar trends geographically as their one-bedrooms counterparts. The highest rises were mostly west of the Mississippi. A large swath across the South and Texas saw rents declining fastest.
About 50 midsized cities saw year-over-year increases in the second quarter. Twenty were up over 20 percent and the entire top 10 rose over 30 percent. Six cities jumped north of 40 percent, led by Salt Lake City at nearly 50 percent. That is the second highest increase of any city of any size.
A big leap in year-to-year rent prices doesn’t always equal the highest rents. Fremont, CA’s, 34.5 percent rise, the ninth steepest, earned the Bay Area city an average rent of $3,671, the sixth most expensive for medium cities. But Little Rock, up just over 37 percent from last year, still offers two-bedroom rents for just $838 a month. That’s good for the ninth-lowest rent among medium-sized cities.
Glendale, CA, has the highest rent for medium cities, at $4,778, s a 22.2 percent increase from last year. Evansville, IN, carries the lowest rent for medium cities despite a 2.71 percent increase
Only nine midsized cities enjoyed a rent decrease for two bedrooms. At the top of the list was College Station. Its 16.17 percent drop to $955 was the fourth greatest decline for any city of any size.
10 medium cities with the highest percentage growth in two-bedroom rent
- Salt Lake City UT $2,261 (49.26%)
- Hillsboro OR $3,628 (47.81%)
- Lakewood CO $2,600 (43.02%)
- Rochester NY $2,015 (42.09%)
- Richardson TX $2,750 (40.81%)
- Richmond VA $1,919 (40.11%)
- Little Rock AR $1,167 (39.27%)
- Tacoma WA $3,190 (36.75%)
- Fremont CA $3,671 (34.51%)
- Round Rock TX $1,870 (30.53%)
10 medium cities with the steepest percentage decrease in two-bedroom rent
Rent price trends in small cities
Rents in small cities are generally well below those of large ones. The exceptions tend to occur among satellite cities and primary suburbs around large, expensive coastal locales. Because of their smaller rates, rent fluctuations can have a bigger impact on individual renters. For the data below, small cities are those with populations between 50,000 and 100,000.
One-bedroom rent price trends in small cities
Twenty-four small cities had double-digit rent price percentage increases, and 13 were up 20 percent or more. The biggest jump by far came in the Pacific Northwest. Redmond, WA, was up year over year by 61.5 percent. That’s the second-highest increase for any city of any size. It saw a nearly $1,300 leap to $3.378 a month, the fourth highest rent for any small city.
The highest rent for a small city was Santa Monica, CA. Its rents pushed up 38.84 percent to $4,017 a month, the second highest for any city in the nation and the fifth largest rise. The third highest rents belong to Palo Alto, up at 41.13 percent to $4,002.
North Richland Hills and Euless, two Texas cities, have the 12th and 11th lowest small city rents, despite carrying the seventh and eighth largest yearly increases, respectively. Newport Beach, CA, saw the lowest rent increase for a small city, at 1.09 percent. But its $2,929 a month rents are the eighth highest.
Port Arthur, on the Texas gulf coast, saw the biggest percentage decrease in rent prices anywhere in the country, down 22.57 percent from the second quarter of 2022. The average one-bedroom rent is just $666 a month. That figure tied for the lowest of any city of any size.
Overall, only seven small-city one-bedrooms decreased from last year. Baytown, TX, just an hour from Port Arthur, had the seventh biggest decline, down 5.33 percent to $826. That gave the Houston suburb the fifth lowest rent among small cities, down from seventh a year ago. Alameda, CA, had the sixth biggest decline, down by 5.85 percent. But that still left rents at $3,436 a month, the third highest for all small cities.
10 small cities with the highest percentage growth in one-bedroom rent
- Redmond WA $3,378 (61.52%)
- Mountain View CA $3,373 (45.47%)
- Palo Alto CA $4,002 (45.13%)
- Santa Monica CA $4,017 (38.84%)
- Burlington NC $1,230 (29.18%)
- Fort Myers FL $2,016 (27.89%)
- North Richland Hills TX $1,205 (25.21%)
- Euless TX $1,187 (25.18%)
- Bayonne NJ $2,941 (23.47%)
- Mount Pleasant SC $2,286 (23.20%)
10 small cities with the steepest percentage decrease in one-bedroom rent
Two-bedroom rent price trends in small cities
Eleven small cities experienced two-bedroom rent rises of over 20 percent in the second quarter. Of those, two jumped up over 40 percent, both on the West Coast. Redmond was up 42.61 percent. Its $4,136 a month rent represents a significant $1,235 increase from a year ago. And in Mountain View, CA, rents were up just over 40 percent to $4,226, the fifth highest for small cities.
Minnetonka, MN, experienced the third highest rise from last year, up 34.6 percent. At $1,818, that’s still just the 22nd highest small city rent. Palo Alto near San Francisco had the highest rent for a small city at $5,157, one of only two small cities over $5,000 a month, and the third highest for any two-bedroom unit of any city size.
Port Arthur had the sharpest decrease in rents year to year for two bedrooms. Down 19.6 percent, rents fell to just $782 a month. That’s both the second-cheapest rent and second-biggest drop for any city of any size. With the seventh-steepest decline, rents in Santa Monica were down 8.1 percent. At $5,013 a month on average, that’s still the fourth highest rent for any two-bedroom anywhere in the country.
Fort Smith, AR, has the lowest rent for any city anywhere. The historic town on the Oklahoma border offers a two-bedroom apartment for just $599 a month on average. Rents increased just 1.86 percent from last year when it was also the cheapest two-bedroom in the nation. The top 10 cheapest small city two-bedroom rents are the exact same ten cities in Q2 2022 as they were in Q2 2021.
10 small cities with the highest percentage growth in two-bedroom rent
- Redmond WA $4,136 (42.61%)
- Mountain View CA $4,226 (40.39%)
- Minnetonka MN $1,818 (34.60%)
- Walnut Creek CA $3,383 (30.84%)
- Fort Myers FL $2,431 (28.99%)
- Doral FL $3,388 (27.53%)
- Palo Alto CA $5,157 (27.46%)
- Quincy MA $3,330 (21.91%)
- Frederick MD $1,521 (21.43%)
- N Richland Hills TX $1,476 (21.12%)
10 small cities with the steepest percentage decrease in two-bedroom rent
To determine average rent prices, we used Q2 2022 data from ApartmentGuide.com’s multifamily rental property inventory. From there, we evaluated changes seen since Q2 2021. Prices are based on the average price for that respective quarter as a whole.
We used a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. From there, we looked at historical standard deviations of our weighted rent prices to remove outlier markets and minimize potential volatility caused by lower inventory. Rent price increases and decreases per time period are based on the percentage change of apartment rental prices from Q2 2021.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.