Don't be surprised if your landlord raises your rent next year.
The Phoenix metro area this year had the second-fastest growing average rent prices in the United States, surpassing $1,000 for the first time, according to a report from RentCafe, the apartment listings and trends website.
Monthly prices for rental units in Phoenix grew 7.7 percent in 2018, $72 more than what renters were paying this time last year. That's more than any other large metro area besides Las Vegas. The increase represents a significant tick for the Valley of the Sun, which did not even crack the top five hottest rental markets in 2017.
Don't panic yet, apartment dwellers. Despite the uptick, Phoenix's monthly average rent of $1,001 remains well below the national average of $1,419, according to the report.
The Phoenix metro area rental price boom was propelled by the Valley's smaller and midsize suburbs. With an increase of 8.3 percent, Mesa led the nation for cities with a population between 300,000 and 600,000, the report states. At 9.7 percent, Peoria had the fourth-biggest increase for rent prices for cities with fewer than 300,000 people. Chandler and Glendale also had tremendous growth, at 8.3 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.
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The numbers analyzed by RentCafe come from Yardi Matrix, a real estate business management tool that collects data in 133 rental markets. The data only covers base rent for apartment buildings with 50 or more units, and only includes market-rate apartments.
Doug Ressler, Director of Business Intelligence at Yardi Matrix, said Phoenix's apartment rates track with population growth and good employment numbers in the region. He pointed to recent business developments in the Phoenix area, including Scottsdale-based InEight's acquisition of an AI company and a potential new AllState office in Chandler.
Phoenix's rent increase follows the national trend, though at a much higher rate. The national average rent increased 3.1 percent in 2018, or $42 more than what renters were paying at this time last year. Ressler said that growth is likely to continue.