Inflation Hits Renters: 11% Overall Rent Increase in 2021

Price increases for single family home rentals far outpaces apartment rents (+26% vs. +1%), driving the overall rental market in 2021.

Los Altos, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ALTOS, Calif., Jan. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dwellsy analysis of its extensive rent data shows just how hard renters were hit by rent inflation in 2021.

"American renters saw an 11% increase in median asking rent from January to December of 2021," said Jonas Bordo, CEO and Co-Founder of Dwellsy. "In a normal year, a 3-4% increase is typical, but we saw 3X that in 2021. That's an extra $165 that renters have to spend each month." 

Key findings from the analysis:

  • Rent prices went up 11% in 2021, 3X the normal rate
  • Rent inflation was particularly high in single-family home rentals: up 26% 
  • Apartment rent inflation was modest: up 1%

The Covid pandemic its unique impact on housing demand has driven this year's extraordinary rent inflation.  

For many renters, a single family home was the ideal in 2021. According to Bordo, "Single family rentals offer Covid-safe outdoor space, more room to work from home and better accommodation for pets. Unfortunately, as more renters were interested in these properties, so were homebuyers. With home values escalating, more rentals sold to homeowners intending to occupy those homes, which reduced the inventory of rentals."

Dwellsy data shows the predictable result of increased demand and decreased supply: rent shot up across the country for available single-family rental homes - 26% increase from January to December.

For typical workforce apartment housing, demand was inconsistent, with declines early in the year offset by increases later in the year and an overall increase of only 1% for apartments.

The high end of the apartment market saw significant rent drops in 2020, particularly for higher-end urban rental apartments, and in 2021, demand increased for these apartments, driving prices back up.

Amongst large cities (Top 30 MSAs), asking rents were at historic highs, particularly for those with a high percentage of single family homes for rent:

RankCityMedian Asking Rent2021 Rent Inflation
1Boston, MA$2,7419.6%
2San Francisco, CA$2,67611.5%
3New York, NY$2,67010.6%
4San Jose, CA$2,6005.1%
5Miami, FL$2,59023.3%
6Los Angeles, CA$2,3416.7%
7San Diego, CA$2,31418.7%

For more details and access to the full data sets, please visit Dwellsy's Newsroom.  

About Dwellsy Data

As the largest and most inclusive rental marketplace in the country, Dwellsy has a representative sample of in-market asking rents, and our analysis reflects the actual experience of renters searching for a place in a given time period. Most other housing market datasets are focused only on premium multifamily units and have to use complex statistical modeling techniques based on data from several years ago in their attempts to replicate Dwellsy's data.

About Dwellsy

Dwellsy is the renter's marketplace, a comprehensive residential home rentals marketplace based on the radical concept that true, organic search in a free eco-system creates more value than the pay-to-play model embraced by all of the current rental listing services. Dwellsy has more than 12 million residential rental home listings, more than any legacy classifieds site—as well as the most diverse set of listings—including single-family rentals, condos, townhouses and apartments at all price points.

For more information, please contact

Related Images

Image 1: Dwellsy Data Shows Rent up 11% in 2021

Analysis of the most comprehensive database of rent prices shows rent increased by $165/mo or 11% from January to December 2021.

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Dwellsy Data Shows Rent up 11% in 2021