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Austin rent: how high (or low) is it, anyway?

Up, down, all around

Word ‘rent” painted in white on a red brick wall Christopher Paquette/Flickr

Every month, we get a battery of (sometimes breathless) emails from people eager to tell us what’s happening with Austin rents. The information is interesting and valuable, and some of it seems to have been subjected to serious analysis before being issued.

However, because the reports come from different sources with different data sets—primarily apartment rental listings services—there are usually disparities among them that can bring a bit of confusion to the table.

In its May report, for instance, Adobo reports that Austin was the 26th most expensive rental market in the country for one-bedroom apartments (we’ve hovered in the 24th-26th zone for more than a year, according to several reports). It puts median rent for a one-bedroom at $1,109/month, a 0.52 decrease from April, at $1,410 for a two-bedroom, 0.68% less than it was last month.

The wonkier Apartment List site goes deeper, breaking down rent changes by neighborhood month over month. Its report finds Austin rents growing by 0.1% over the past month and year-over-year growth at 1.4%. The site puts one-bedroom median costs at $1,160/month and two-bedrooms cost $1,470.

Apartment List also cites East Austin in the No. 1 most-expensive rental neighborhood spot and the North Austin Civic Association, a neighborhood planning area in Far North Austin between North Lamar and Metric boulevards that includes places that used to be called Fiskville and Quail Creek, as having the fastest-growing rents.

Zumper, meanwhile, puts Austin in the 33rd-most-expensive spot in its May study of rents in American cities. The site puts the price of one-bedroom units at $1,050 (remaining flat since last month) and reports two-bedroom units grew 0.8%, to $1,340. According to the Zumper National Rent Index, this compares to a national increase of 0.5%, to $1,169, for one-bedrooms, while two-bedroom median rent increased 1%, to $1,390.

So that’s all clear, right? If not, perhaps the chart below will help.

How much did Austin rent change in May?

Listing site One-bedroom Year over year Two-bedroom Year over year National rank
Listing site One-bedroom Year over year Two-bedroom Year over year National rank
Adobo $1,109 N/A $1,410 N/A 26
Apartment List $1,160 1.40% $1,470 1.40% 24
Zumper $1,050 -7.10% $1,340 -9.50% 33

National Apartment Report: May 2017 [Adobo]

May 2017 Austin Rent Report [Rentonomics, Apartment List]

Zumper National Rent Report: May 2017 [Zumper]