Rent relief

Houston ranks among 3 U.S. cities with the biggest rent decreases

Houston ranks among 3 U.S. cities with the biggest rent decreases

apartment house for rent sign
That Houston apartment might not cost as much as it would have last year. ejs9/Getty Images

Houston home prices are rising — fast — but local rents are a different story, as a new report lists the Bayou City among the top three U.S. cities with the most dramatic rent decreases.

Apartment Guide compared two-bedroom apartment rent prices in the 100 largest U.S. cities to determine where rents are rising and falling the fastest. Houston appears on the latter list at No. 3, with rents falling 8.4 percent to an average of $1,548 in 2018.

"Home to the Johnson Space Center and NASA Mission Control, Houston has always been known for space," the report says. "But there was plenty of space being filled in the 21st century, as the metro area gained a million new residents from 2000 to 2016, many in 2005 as a refugee city for Hurricane Katrina victims."

Much has changed since then, the report adds, as "growth has leveled off significantly since, due to the oil recession and Houston's own disaster, Hurricane Harvey," leading to an increase in available housing and decline in rental rates.

Houston isn't the only Texas city to see a dramatic price drop. Fort Worth lands at No. 8 on the list, with rents falling 5.6 percent to an average of $1,376 last year.

The story is different in other Texas cities that, by comparison, have seen major rent hikes.

Plano ranks No. 1 on the list of biggest rent increases in the U.S. with prices skyrocketing 25.3 percent to an average of $1,824. The DFW suburb is home to many corporations, including Rent-A-Center, Dr Pepper, and Pizza Hut, but "the problem with Plano is that it's run out of room," the report says.

Apartment Guide reports that the average two-bedroom rent in the U.S. increased by 4 percent last year. Other Texas cities outpacing the national average are Arlington (up 6.7 percent), Lubbock (up 6.2 percent), and Dallas (up 6.1 percent).