What Does the US Rental Market Look Like for 2018?

Employers with plans to relocate employees either to US cities or between two different US cities should be aware that the US rental market continues to experience rent increases outpacing the rate of overall national inflation. However, each rental market is unique. The number of units, state and local economics, and even natural disasters all impact rental rates. A regular review of the state of the US Rental Market can uncover opportunities for transferees to consider new assignments as rental market affordability increases.

On a national basis, rents are 2.8% higher, outpacing the current 2.2% overall rate of inflation, and the average hourly earnings rate of 2.5% over the past 12 months, according to an analysis prepared by online rental marketplace ApartmentList.com.

US Rental Market Areas with Rising Rents

The fastest rent growth in the US continues to be in the city of Sacramento, California, with an increase of 9.3% over the past year. Why is Sacramento experiencing high rents? Several factors are at work, including job growth, low inventory of rental units, and the influx of other California residents from the Bay Area who are seeking lower costs in Sacramento.

The US rental market imbalance in this region of California is threatening to displace thousands of low-income Sacramento residents. The solution to Sacramento’s rising rents may lie with other cities such as San Jose and San Francisco, which have effectively priced residents out of their markets due to low inventory and soaring rents.

Following Sacramento in the rising rent category are Vancouver, Washington at 7.9 % and Orlando, Florida at 6.8%, due to increasing job growth and an ever-expanding population.

US Rental Market Areas with Declining Rents

The largest decline in rents is occurring in Anchorage, Alaska, with rents declining by 1.7% over the past year. There are several reasons for the declining rents, with the greatest impact due to an economy in recession that is causing significant job losses. There is also much uncertainty over issues and changes in Alaska’s state government based in Juneau, creating further instability in the Anchorage job market.

Following Anchorage in the declining rent category is Portland, Oregon at 3.5%; however, this decline in Portland’s booming market is due mostly to a large amount of new construction, fostering competition for renters and driving US rental market rents downward.


The relocation experts at Global Mobility Solutions (GMS) have helped thousands of our clients manage relocation both to and within the US. We have the knowledge and expertise to help your company determine the best plan forward as the US rental market continues to experience increases in some cities and declines in other cities.

Contact our team of experts online to discuss how we can help your company’s relocation plans and the US rental market, or call us directly at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.