American Rents Climb To Record Highs Despite Slump In Home Sales

Home sales in the US have slowed dramatically over the past year - and in some markets, like tony Manhattan, they have virtually ground to a halt - as high prices and a shortage of affordable inventory have squeezed cash-strapped young buyers.

But unfortunately for the average renter (a group that includes the bulk of millennials who don't still live with their parents), this housing market weakness hasn't translated to lower rents. In fact, in March, the average national rent increased by 3.2% YoY to $1,430 (up $44) to a fresh all-time high. What's worse, the increases were spread throughout the country, with 92% of the 253 largest cities in the US registering an increase in the average rent paid, while 6% of cities registered no change, and rents dropped in just 2% of cities, according to data from the Yardi Matrix published by RentCafe.com.

Natl Rent

On a monthly basis, rents climbed 0.3% (or $4), which was in line with last year's rate for March. And unfortunately for all of those cash-strapped creatives living in Brooklyn, the 20 largest rental markets in the US continued to see robust price appreciation, with the average rent in the borough climbing to $2,860. Manhattan's rental market remained the most expensive in the country, with the average rent a staggering $4,141.

While coastal enclaves like San Francisco and NYC continued to dominate the most expensive list, cities in the South and Midwest remained the most affordable markets, with Wichita, Kansas claiming the title of most affordable city for renters, with an average rent of just $645.

Here's a map of the biggest increases and decreases for small cities...

Small

...mid-sized cities...

Mid

...and large cities...

Large

...And the official ranking of the 20 most unaffordable (and affordable) rental markets:

Rent

Average rents in the US have continued their push to all-time highs...but the Federal Reserve is still convinced that there's no inflation in the economy?