Rent Woes

Think Austin rents keep getting higher and higher? You're right.

Think Austin rents keep getting higher and higher? You're right.

Austin skyline downtown Lady Bird Lake Town Colorado River kayaking
Austin's rent growth just keeps skyrocketing. Congress Avenue Kayaks/Facebook

There's new proof to support your suspicion that the Austin rental market is bonkers right now. Online real estate investment management firm HomeUnion has identified the cities where rent growth has soared and sunk, and Austin is definitely flying high.

We make the top 20 list, which is led by Seattle and its 6.7 percent surge year-over-year. Austin saw an increase of 2.8 percent, with rents hovering around $1,700. So while rent here is still cheaper than, say, San Francisco at $4,320, it is more expensive than it was last year.

"Many of the metros at the top of our list have these two common characteristics: strong job growth, and residents who prefer renting over homeownership as median home prices remain relatively high and the cost of mortgage debt continues to increase,” explains Steve Hovland, director of research at HomeUnion, in a release.

Dallas nabs the No. 2 spot with an increase of 5.6 percent, while San Antonio slips into the top 20 at 2.4 percent.

Houston, however, lands on the list of cooling rental markets. The average $1,600 monthly rent is down 2.8 percent from last year, though that's still a far cry from El Paso's chart-topping 7.1 percent decrease.