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10 Cities with Rapidly Rising Rents

In some of the biggest rental markets, rents increased by more than 10% over the last year.

If you’ve been looking for an apartment for a while and it feels like rents have been going up, it’s not your imagination—they have been. Across the US, rents increased by 6.3% from August 2013 to August 2014, and in five of the biggest rental markets, rents increased by more than 10% over last year.

Rising rent isn’t a new thing. Looking at the year-over-year trends in rent prices across the US, there’s been a pretty steep increase over the last year—going from about a 3% annual increase in the spring of 2013 to the current 6.3%.  So does this mean it’s best to sign a lease now before prices get any higher, or should you wait until they come down?  The average annual increase did grow less in August than it did during the previous 5 months, but it’s too soon to say what the fall and winter will bring.  (And remember, your local market has its own trends that may be different than the national averages.)

If you’re looking for a new place now, these increases can be a little depressing.  But here’s some (kind of?) good news if you’re renting: it could be worse—you could be buying a home.  Asking prices on homes for sale rose nationally 7.8% year-over-year.  That makes the 6.3% increase for renters seem a little less worse.

Here are the 10 largest US metros where rent is rising the fastest:

US Metro Y-o-Y % change in rents, Aug 2014 Median rent for 2-bedroom, Aug 2014
1 Sacramento, CA 14.90% $1,250
2 San Francisco, CA 14.50% $3,500
3 Oakland, CA 14.40% $2,600
4 Denver, CO 13.10% $1,550
5 Miami, FL 11.30% $2,450
6 Philadelphia, PA 9.20% $1,600
7 Los Angeles, CA 8.80% $2,450
8 Seattle, WA 8.70% $1,850
9 Baltimore, MD 8.30% $1,600
10 Phoenix, AZ 8.30% $1,050