Year-end 2018 and January 2019 rent reports for Austin came with some small surprises. While apartment rates inched upward over the past year, they did so, in most cases, at a barely discernible rate. Before taking to the streets to celebrate that things could be worse, one should note that the city’s rate of increase was still higher than that of any other Texas city and topped the national average, though only barely—at least according to one report.
Speaking of reports, you might be curious about how local numbers compare among rental-data sources. While each differs and has its own sets of limitations, they can give us a sense of what’s happening across the city.
Abodo, which bases its numbers on analysis of its listings, took a look back at 2018 this month with a report that shows rent increases slowing, if not falling, nationwide; 45 states saw monthly average rent fluctuation stay within 2% of the previous year’s value. Nationally, one-bedroom units had a median price of $1,025, a 2.01 percent decline over the previous year, while two-bedrooms remained flat, at $1,255—statistically insignificant gain of 0.8 percent.
Austin, meanwhile, saw median one-bedroom rents of $1,165 (a measly 0.33 percent rise) with and two-bedrooms at $1,465 (up 0.64 percent) in 2018. Abodo’s January 2019 numbers put the one-bedroom median at $1,240 and two-bedrooms at $1,587—month-over-month jumps of 2.11 percent and 2.15 percent, respectively.
Apartment List’s numbers track by city limits, and unlike a lot of listing site data, its numbers are weighted with census data to compensate for a skew toward luxury listings. It still attempts to track what a new renter or apartment-hunter could expect to pay for their pad, though, as opposed to what the typical renter is currently paying.
AL’s January data show Austin rents remaining flat over the month, with median one-bedroom prices at $1,160 and two bedrooms at $1,430. The study does show a most 3.4% year-over-year increase. That doesn’t make Austin one of the most expensive rental markets in the country, but the increase does lead the state average of 1.3%, and (by quite a bit) the national average of 0.9%.
Zumper, which can skew toward luxury and uses only its listings when calculating stats, creates a national rent index for 100 cities every month. It reported the median January rent for one-bedroom units in Austin as $1,220, up 0.4 percent since December and 2.5 percent since this time last year. The median price for two-bedrooms, $1,500, stayed flat month over month and have increased 2 percent over last year’s
Those stats are pretty on par with at national numbers—Zumper ranks Austin as the 31st most expensive city in the United States in which to rent a home—with a $1,220 January median, a 0.4% increase over last month, and two-bedrooms up 0.1%, to a median price of $1,440. On a year-to-date basis, one-bedroom rent is down 3.1%, while two bedrooms are up 3.7%.