Rent Report

Houston rent prices rising slightly amid COVID-19, says new report

Houston rent prices rising slightly amid COVID-19, says new report

apartment house for rent sign
Houston two-bedroom rent prices rose almost 3 percent last quarter. ejs9/Getty Images

The pandemic has not put much of dent in Texas rental demand, according to new data from Abodo.

The online apartment marketplace says Texas' median one-bedroom apartment rent fell just $7 from April to June 2020, down to $1,012 from $1,019. Conversely, national one-bedroom median rents rose about 1 percent, growing slightly from $1,088 in April to $1,097 in June. 

Houston's second quarter one- and two-bedroom residential rental markets were up, mirroring the national trend. One-bedroom apartment rents increased 1 percent, from an April median of $,169 to $1,179 in June. However, two-bedroom apartment rates rose more sharply, growing by 2.7 percent from April’s $1,427 to June’s $1,466.  

Renters looking for more affordable prices can find one-bedroom units in suburban Cinco Ranch for under $1,000, Abodo notes. Still, many apartment hunters have found that there are numerous applicants for some units, even during the pandemic, and instant acceptance is not guaranteed. 

Across Texas, the residential rental market remains steady for several reasons:

  • Amid the pandemic, many people are staying put and have put off moving plans for now.
  • Some residents have had to sell homes they could no longer afford and have therefore entered the rental market.
  • Landlords are reluctant to raise rents when collecting rent during COVID-19 can be an issue.
  • Some new apartment developments have slowed or paused construction.

Overall, property managers and landlords are facing a new normal of life, specifically in this virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic, Abodo explains. 

But decreases in supply have offset instances of falling demand, and therefore, the market is stable right now. If the economy does not improve, construction financing could dry up quickly, and paused apartment construction may stay that way. 

Looking ahead, Abodo expects the Houston rental market to remain steady, with the possibility of modest rent increases as the economy improves.