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Here are the U.S. cities where rent is rising the fastest

Cities where it's cheaper to buy than rent
4 cities where it's cheaper to buy a home than rent 03:21

Let's start with the bad news for U.S. renters: Since the pandemic, rental costs around the country have surged a total of 26%. Now for the good: Rents are finally slowing in earnest, a new analysis shows.

Rent for single-family homes rose an average of 3.7% in April from a year ago, the twelfth straight month of declines, according to real estate research firm CoreLogic. 

"Single-family rent growth has slowed for a full year, and overall gains are approaching pre-pandemic rates," Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic, said in a statement. 

The spike in housing costs since the public health crisis erupted in 2020 has been driven largely by a shortage of affordable housing coupled with unusually strong demand. Soaring rents in recent years have amplified the pain for millions of households also coping with the skyrocketing prices of food and other daily necessities. 

Although inflation is cooling, as of May it was still rising at twice the Federal Reserve's 2% annual target.

Across the U.S., rents are rising the fastest in Charlotte, N.C., climbing nearly 7% in April compared with the same month in 2022, CoreLogic found. Median rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city, which has a population of roughly 900,000, now tops $1,900.

The following metro areas round out the top 20 cities with the fastest rental increases in April from a year ago, along with the typical monthly rent for a 3-bedroom place, according to CoreLogic:

  • Boston, Mass.—6.2%, $3,088
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.—6%, $2,209
  • Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill.—5.9%, $2.319
  • New York/Jersey City/White Plains, N.Y./N.J.—5.7%, $3,068
  • St. Louis, Mo.—4.8%, $1,501
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn./Wis.—4.6%, $2,097
  • Tuscon, Ariz.—4%, 4%, $2,036
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, Texas—4%, $1,807
  • Honolulu, Hawaii—3.7%, $3,563

Want the biggest bang for your buck? For renters with a budget of $1,500 a month, you'll get at least 1,300 square feet in places like Wichita, Kansas; Toledo, Ohio; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Memphis, Tennessee, according to RentCafe. In pricey cities like Boston, Manhattan and San Francisco, by contrast, $1,500 affords you less than 400 square feet.

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