Redfin: Median Asking Rent Continues to Decline

(Image courtesy of Redfin; Breakout image courtesy of Jovydas Dobilas/

Redfin, Seattle, reported the median U.S. asking rent fell 0.8% year-over-year in December, marking the third consecutive decline.

It fell 2.1% in November–the largest drop since 2020–and 0.3% in October.

The median asking rent stood at $1,964. Month-to-month, rent was fairly flat.

The recent building boom has affected rents–as more supply has come online, renters have had more choices. The number of completed apartments is near a multidecade high, Redfin noted.

The vacancy rate was at 6.6% in the third quarter of 2023, the highest level since the first quarter of 2021.

Also affecting rent numbers are economic uncertainty, slowing household formation and affordability challenges. Despite the recent spate of drops, rents are still only 4.4% below the record high.

“High supply–more so than low demand–is driving rent declines. But if mortgage rates continue to drop at a fast clip in 2024, slowing rental demand could become a major driver of rent declines,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “That’s because more Americans would ditch the rental market to become homeowners, leaving landlords with even more vacancies.”

On a regional basis, rents varied. In the Midwest, the median asking rent rose 3.7% year-over-year. They also rose in the Northeast, up by 1.7%.

However they fell 1% year-over-year in the South and 0.6% in the West.