Recently, Abodo released its midyear rent report, detailing rental price trends throughout the country during the first six months of 2017. Nationally, rents remained fairly steady from January to July — despite falling through March, the nation’s average one-bedroom rent eventually returned to $1,016, exactly where it was in January. As usual, cities like San Francisco and New York topped the list for highest median rent, with one-bedrooms going for $3,240 and $2,919, respectively.
But what about Texas?
At $871, the Lone Star State's average one-bedroom rent for the first half of 2017 was significantly lower than the national average. It changed an average of 1.12 percent over the year’s first six months, decreasing from $848 in January to a low of $829 in February, before steadily climbing to a high of $905 in July.
No Texas cities were included on the list of the nation’s highest rents, although one — Houston — saw some of the greatest average rent growth over the first half of the year, with rents growing an average of 3.8 percent per month. (They’re currently $1,053 in the Bayou City.)
Two cities — Lubbock and El Paso — experienced some of the greatest average rental drops in the first half of 2017, with rents falling an average of 2.6 percent and 2.3 percent per month.
Houston, on the other hand, experienced the third-highest average monthly increase in the country. One-bedroom rents in Houston grew an average of 3.8 percent per month, behind only New Orleans (6.3 percent), and Glendale, Arizona (4.7 percent). Rents for Houston one-bedrooms increased every month, from $951 in January to $1,191 in July. The six-month average one-bedroom rent was $1,053 per month, almost $200 above the state average.
Two-bedrooms also saw consistent rental increases, from $1,233 in February to $1,402 in July, for an average rate of increase of 2.18 percent per month.
Whether or not rental prices continue to increase will depend on how well development matches population growth. Although Harris County is still the second fastest growing county in the country, adding over 56,000 new residents in 2016, growth in the Energy Corridor has slowed in the past two years as oil prices have fallen.
Fortunately for developers, a large number of Houston’s newest residents are international immigrants, who — at least initially — are more likely to rent upon arrival, and whose presence ensures continuous demand.