Rent Report

Surprising report shows Austin isn't most expensive place to rent in Texas

Surprising report: Austin isn't most expensive place to rent in Texas

North Austin apartment Burnet Road Amli 5350
Austin rents are stable — and less expensive than Dallas, says Abodo. Amli 5350/Facebook

In a year plagued with political turmoil and natural disasters, rent prices weren’t spared from the turbulence. A recent rent report by apartment listing service Abodo found that, despite a few months of stability, even decreases early on, national rents took a sharp turn upward by the year’s end.

In 2017, one-bedroom rents around the country rose 2.4 percent. Rents for two-bedroom apartments rose even higher, by nearly 3 percent. In both cases, the bulk of the rent hikes came in the final three months of the year.

Overall, 28 states saw increases in their average monthly one-bedroom rents — and Texas was among them, with an average one-bedroom rent of $882, and an average monthly increase of 0.5 percent throughout 2017.

But as we know, the real estate market in the nation’s second-largest state is as varied as its natural landscape. Austin apartments, as usual, boasted one of the state’s highest average monthly rents throughout 2017, at $1,142 for a one-bedroom. The only Texas city to surpass Austin’s rent was Dallas, where rents were $1,190.

As in most of the country, Austin’s rents declined for the first few months of the year, down to a year low of $1,109 for a one-bedroom apartment in May, followed by a slight 0.2 percent increase in June, and then steeper increases in late summer. Contrary to national trends, however, Austin mostly saw decreases in Q4 of 2017.

Throughout the year, Austin saw an average monthly increase of 0.3 percent — lower than the statewide average — making it the most stable rental market in Texas. The next-smallest average monthly change was 0.4 percent, in Irving.

Corpus Christi, by contrast, saw an average monthly increase of 1.9 percent, while El Paso saw an average monthly decrease of the same percentage. The number earned both cities top five placements for highest and lowest monthly rent changes for 2017, respectively.

We’re less than a month into 2018, but so far, the new year is starting out with stability for Austin renters. One-bedroom rents dropped 0.4 percent between December and January, now sitting at $1,163 — only $21 higher than 2017’s monthly average.

But between Hurricane Harvey recovery and the new tax bill, Texas’ housing market could be in for some changes later in the year. For more on where rents are rising and falling the fastest, visit Abodo’s 2017 Annual Rent Report