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The US Rental Property Investment Market 2019

US Rental Housing Market

According to a new report by Yardi, the average apartment rent in March rose by $4 to an average of $1430/mo. They found rent grew only .4% in the first quarter.

Rapid rise in home sales. Screen capture courtesy of

The hot markets of Phoenix and Las Vegas lead the way the way with 7+% rent price growth YoY. And even Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco saw higher than average rent growth.

GDP growth and employment were subdued during the last 4 months, so we wonder if rents are about to rise faster?

Acording to REIS, the apartment vacancy rate was flat at 4.8% and only rose in 15 of 79 major cities. Net absorption dropped by 21.6% which surprised some experts. New home sales have surged to a 16 month high, so are renters leaving the rental market in 2019?

Is The Rental Property Market the Place to Invest?

Rents keep rising in 92% of cities, however is rental property investment the place to be in 2019/2020?

Screen capture courtesy of Yardi Matric Monthly Rent Price Report

From Florida to California to Hawaii, the rental market remains constrained.  Although prices have flattened or fallen in many areas, the revenue potential for builders and property owners is positive.

The US rental property market is a growing chunk of the now estimated $127 Trillion global real estate market which accounts for 60% of all mainstream assets.

The rental property market is less than half of the $36+ Trillion US Real estate market, yet for small property investors it’s a fertile paradise.

Check out our reports on specific markets such as Hawaii, Phoenix, Chicago, DenverLas VegasCaliforniaAustin, Oakland, San JoseSan Francisco, and more.

What’s Driving the 2019 Rental Market?

What drives the rental housing market and why is the time to invest? It’s primarily due to a growing economy still recovering from the last recession, repatriation of jobs and businesses back to the US, higher housing purchasing costs, increased immigration, and growing demand from Millennials and Babyboomers.

Lots of positive signals, and we’ll explore the 15 Key Factors below.

America: Rental Nation Still in 2019

If you haven’t heard the news, America became a renter nation in 2018.  From New York to Los Angeles, more people were renting than owning for the first time ever. Home sales were down in 2018 due to high prices, low availability, rising interest rates, and more factors.

With all the doom and gloom pushed in the media, we might forget that 2019 could be an excellent launch year for property management companies which use cloud technology to streamline operations.

Property managers will be expected to do more with less in 2019, and that means landlords and investors will be looking for you.

Adding to the power of the rental market is the rise of Airbnb and the short term rental. The success of Airbnb and VRBO tells us of changes happening in residential and commercial real estate and how it’s creating opportunities for Realtors and property managers.


Visit upcoming Trade Shows in 2019 to get immersed in the latest software and systems.  We’ll be live at the Chicago Cooperator and New Jersey Cooperator expos in May.  And in late June, we’re at Apartmentalize in Denver.  See the schedule of shows.


And the solution professional property managers need is great software. It’s pushing more investment into proptech and cloud property management solutions.

The National Rental Housing Picture

Quick Facts about 2018:

  • growth in renters was 23.7 million
  • growth in homeowners 700,000
  • renter growth outpaced homeowners in 97 of 100 top US cities
  • rentership grew 53% in Gilbert AZ, 40% in Plano Texas, 40% in St Petes Florida, and 39% in North Las Vegas
  • cities with largest share of renters: Newark NJ 74%, Jersey City 70%, and Miami FL 68%

In 2017, 43% of movers reported moving for a housing-related reason. In comparison, 27.9 % said they moved for a family-related reason, 18.5% said they moved for an employment-related reason, and 10.6% said they moved for some other reason –

Rental Property Types

There’s no shortage of rental property types. From student housing and seniors housing, to fix and rent single family, to beachfront vacation rentals, and from studio apartments to luxury condos.

Bedroom TypeAverage RentChange M-o-MChange Y-o-Y
1 Bed$1,2250.10%3.40%
2 Beds$1,4080.10%3.50%
3 Beds$1,6440.20%3.20%

National Data Courtesy of

Rental investing comes with extra perks in taxation and income benefits. As you’ll note in this chart, they’re all on a growth curve and still a worthy investment.


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USA Cities with the Highest Rents


Rents are rising, and in some cities, very high and still rising. Good opportunity or a risky bet?

CityStateAverage Rent
San FranciscoCA$3,448
San MateoCA$3,064
Jersey CityNJ$2,855
Santa ClaraCA$2,718
San JoseCA$2,627

Rent data courtesy of

Key Positives for Property Investors: High Price and Low Availability

For prospective renters, homes, condos, homes and multifamily housing are not only pricey, they’re hard to find. The explosion of apartment rental websites including Rentcafe, and Padmapper attest to that. Despite rising construction numbers, housing shortages are the plague of the times.

That may explain why 2017 saw the lowest number of people moving to a new home which may be good news for property investors, landlords, and property managers.  Your renters are likely to stay put and pay the rent which helps you reduce the risk and operating costs of property investment.

Based on 43 percent of the total rental demand being satisfied with traditional 5+ multifamily units, we will need an average of 328,000 units per year from now through 2030 and cumulatively 4.6 million units of 5+ unit housing — ULI’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018 report

US Housing Starts Still Rising. Chart courtesy of Statista.

US Housing Construction Forecast

The housing construction market is brisk and expected to continue rising. Single family detached and low rise condominiums are the most desired properties. The housing market needs 1.4 million new homes each year and this could increase due to immigration.

And construction of new apartments is rising fast through 2017. Numbers might be down for 2018, however are still brisk. Chart courtesy of Realpage.

The broad consensus supports a coherent climb in most of housing’s key performance indicators through 2019, with total starts stepping up from 1.26 million in 2017, to 1.36 million in 2018, to 1.44 million in 2019—jumps of almost 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Single-family starts, most forecasts assert, represent about three out of four total housing starts during that period — from Trends in Real Estate 2018 report from Urban Land Insitute.

A recent report from RentCafe suggests that multiunit construction is up 60,000 more units in January.

Chart below shows the falling rental vacancy rate nationwide. 


Renter Population Growth

Immigrants are a big component of rental demand and the US rental market is expected to focus more on immigrant buyers in the next 12 years.

Chart Courtesy of


You can enjoy variety of new rental properties, low mortgage rates, and maximize your rental property returns through intelligent investment and management strategy and tactics.

15 Top Drivers of the Rental Property Market

These 15 factors may influence the rental housing market most and of which cities will be best to invest in.

  1. buyer market is young and unable to finance the purchase of a home
  2. not enough single detached homes available to buy
  3. risks in buying are high with high prices, rising mortgage rates and housing market uncertainty
  4. millennials are career minded and not necessarily willing to buy now
  5. bank of mom and dad may be running out of money
  6. home and condo prices too high to purchase
  7. buyers won’t buy due to mortgage finance restrictions and long term worries over a recession/market crash
  8. cost of living rising
  9. millennial preference for older urban neighborhoods with walkability
  10. rents rising too fast compared to cost of buying a home
  11. cap rates not sufficiently better than other investment options
  12. immigration into US is still strong
  13. retiring babyboomers having tough time places to move to
  14. more good condos and apartments available because regulations are decreasing and construction techniques are better
  15. The number and share of cost-burdened renters – those paying more than 30 percent of their income fell 2 per cent in 2017 — meaning renting is more affordable

If rental properties are even a quarter of the $36 Trillion US real estate market, we can say with confidence that it has major economic impact. The growth in rental apartment, rental condos, and home rentals is creating a lot of jobs including property managers, landlords, and the kind of passive income many investors need.

The US Rental Housing Sector Still has Legs

Please share this report on the US rental market investment market. High rental prices and low availability will continue to influence profitability, and new construction will add to the profit potential of your property management business and for investors ROI.

If you’re considering rental property investment in 2018/2019, see our posts on the best cities to buy property, how to start a full time Property Management Business, and how to improve your property investment ROI.

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The US property rental market is a wonderful opportunity to earn passive income or ramp up earnings with active property management. Make sure you are utilizing the best property management software to ease you workload and create efficiencies and create sustainable cash flow.

Property management success isn’t only about selection of the best properties in the best cities.
Take a test drive of ManageCasa the best property management solution for landlords, property investors and property management companies. You’ll understand why a simple, online, cloud-based property software solution is the way to go.

See also: Los Angeles House Prices | Los Angeles Apartment Rents | Denver Housing MarketProperty Management Companies | Property Manager Software | Multifamily Property Construction | Best Apps | Florida Housing Market | California Housing MarketProperty Accounting Software | Hawaii Housing MarketBest Cities to buy Rental Property in 2019 | Property Management CareerInvest in Texas Rental PropertyReduce Tenant Turnover | Property Management Solution | Tenant Screening | Raise Rent to Improve Property Revenue | Improve Property Cash Flow | Property Management Issues | Tax Savings for Property Managers | Real Estate Portfolio Tips | How to Use Property Software | Cloud Property Software

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