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Report: Austin area sees median rent cost almost double in a year

To further that ranking, Austin also ranks No. 5 as one of the "cities with the fastest-growing rent" costs over the last year.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austinites, get ready to open your wallets because Austin saw the largest increase in rent across the U.S. in the last year, according to a new study.

A new report from Dwellsy, a rental market search website, found that the Austin area saw an increase of 86% in the cost of monthly rent in the time period of August 2021 to August 2022. 

"Austin, Texas, stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year," the site stated.

This metric makes Austin the No. 1 city across the U.S. to have the largest rent increase, regardless of state or city. 

Granted, New York City is still No. 1 in the nation when it comes to median monthly rent cost, even increasing it by 19.7% in this same time period. New York City's cost is roughly $3,021 compared to Austin's $2,930, but this metric has led Austin to be ranked No. 5 as one of the "most expensive large cities for asking rent" cost.

To further that ranking, Austin also ranks No. 5 as one of the "cities with the fastest-growing rent" costs over the last year.

Dwellsy went into detail regarding the fact that single-family rental homes (SFR) are the most in-demand properties for renters across the country. The costs for renting an SFR reflects this statement, as the monthly cost for an SFR outpaces apartments. 

In Austin alone, the monthly cost in August 2022 for an SFR is $3,210. Compared to SFR rent in August 2021, it is a 60.9% increase in the last year, which is the highest increase any city in the country has seen. 

"Nobody's going to be able to afford it," said University of Texas professor of instruction at McCombs School of Business John Doggett. 

Experts like Doggett said prices won't drop until Austin changes its historically strict building regulations. 

"If you're a developer or a builder, you're going to build a more expensive unit to make up for the fact that it's going to take a much longer time for you to build in Austin than in Hays or Williamson County," said Doggett.

Couple that with the supply chain issues, the influx of high earners moving to the city and increased mortgage rates forcing potential buyers to rent, you end up with rent prices spiking.

"Some rental home prices are increasing due to the recent tax increases that we're going to see on investment homes," said Doggett. "Unfortunately, some of those costs are being passed off to the renters in the market."

Both experts said there is no quick fix for renters or buyers if you want to stay in the city limits, but relief resides in the outskirts.

"If you want something that you can afford, you go south, you go east," said Doggett. "There's a lot of affordable housing there. It's just not in the city of Austin."


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