Rent Prices Continue to Surge, Alongside Mortgage Rates

Higher prices and soaring rents -- which further boost inflation -- are straining households budgets across the US.

Alix Langone Former Reporter
Alix is a former CNET Money staff writer. She also previously reported on retirement and investing for Money.com and was a staff writer at Time magazine. Her work has also appeared in various publications, such as Fortune, InStyle and Travel + Leisure, and she worked in social media and digital production at NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and NY1. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and Villanova University. When not checking Twitter, Alix likes to hike, play tennis and watch her neighbors' dogs. Now based in Los Angeles, Alix doesn't miss the New York City subway one bit.
Alix Langone
2 min read
A for rent sign on the sidewalk in front of a brick townhouse

Higher rent is putting the squeeze on low- and middle-income households.

Busà Photography/Getty Images

Rents continue to climb across the country, with prices up by 14% this April compared to last year. According to data firm Corelogic's Single-Family Rent Index, which analyzes rent prices nationwide, April marked the 13th consecutive month that rents increased at a record-breaking pace. 

Rental prices in April 2022 were more than six times higher than they were in 2020, when rents stagnated at the height of the pandemic, and more than double year over year. Low rental unit inventory and a strong job market are two of the biggest contributing factors to sky-high rents right now. 

"Single-family rents continue to increase at record-level rates," said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic, in the release. "In April, rent growth provided upward pressure on inflation, which rose at rates not seen in nearly 40 years. We expect single-family rent growth to continue to increase at a rapid pace throughout 2022."

Rising rent contributes to inflation by keeping housing prices high overall, and rental prices become even more unaffordable for the average household. Meanwhile, increased spending on food, energy, transportation and other essentials could cause households to fall further behind, especially as inflation continues to rise faster than income. With mortgage rates shooting up -- which makes taking out a home loan even more expensive -- the housing market is showing signs of cooling off -- but rental growth remains steady

In New York City, the median rent hit $4,000 for the first time this May. Some of the most exorbitant rent growth was seen in Miami, where rents increased 40.8% year over year this April, or seven times faster than 2021. Places with especially low unemployment and strong wage growth like Phoenix, which has an unemployment rate of just 2.7%, also saw record-breaking rent growth at 17.8% -- the third highest increase compared to this time last year.