Rent Whiplash

Houston rent report offers hope for a more affordable future

Houston rent report offers hope for a more affordable future

Camden Holly Springs apartment Houston
Rental rates might be down now in Houston, but that may not last. Photo courtesy of Abodo

Houston might be poised for one of the largest rent hikes in the nation this coming year, but there is a glimmer of good news on the horizon. According to the May-June 2016 rent report from apartment-finding website Abodo, H-Town experienced one of the biggest drops in rental prices during that period.

How can that be? A dip before the increase, you might say. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment went down 6 percent for that time period only, the fourth-lowest in the nation. But that might not necessarily last.

"Developers delivered 250,000 new rentals in 2015, and the forecast is for 285,000 more units to be finished in 2016," says Abodo senior communications manager Sam Radbil. "As we've seen in the past, as vacancy rates increase and more rental units become available, prices should begin to decrease."

The key word is "should." More inventory will certainly help tamp down prices, but Houston's population boom has been exploding faster than builders can erect apartments. A way many are dealing with that is by building smaller units to help offset the land costs in dense urban areas.

Abodo claims that the average price of a one-bedroom Houston apartment is now $1,398, down from $1,482 at the beginning of May.

Washington, D.C., saw the most impressive drop at 8 percent, while Phoenix renters are dealing with a whopping 13 percent increase.