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Despite COVID-19, These 5 Markets Saw Rent Increases in 2020

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downtown Nashville, Tennessee at night bars lit up with neon signs

Despite COVID-19, the five markets I’m about to talk about actually saw rent increases in 2020.

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Today, with the help of our data team over at BPInsights, including our data scientist Dave Meyer, I want to share with you some cool stats on the top five markets that are seeing rent increases in 2020—regardless of what’s been going on in the world.

These five cities have been identified as seeing a large percentage change of average monthly rent between January and May 2020. So basically, over the past five months, these are the markets that have grown the most in rent.

Let’s get to the list.

5. Aventura, Florida

We have a city named after the Spanish word for adventure: Aventura. The average monthly rent in the beginning of 2020 for a unit in Aventura was $3,177. That was already pretty expensive.

And over the past five months, the monthly rent has shot up another 7.7%, or $243, to an average of $3,420 as of May 2020.

Related: The Investor’s Guide to Pulling Realistic Rental Comps

4. Houston, Texas

It’s known as the Space City: Houston. Despite COVID-19, Houston’s had a 7.8% increase in rent over the past five months.

That means if you were to rent an average home in Houston at the beginning of the year, you would’ve paid maybe $1,500 per month in rent. Fast forward five months and that same house is $1,635 a month in rent, a $119 increase.

3. Birmingham, Alabama

Also known as the Magic City, Birmingham sure did live up to its name. All they had to do was say “abracadabra” and rent suddenly jumped by 9.2% in just five months. Their average monthly rent of $1,043 at the beginning of 2020 is now up to $1,139 in rent in May.

Related: What to Do If You’re Located in an Expensive Real Estate Market

2. Delray Beach, Florida

Next is a place known as the Village by the Sea. Sounds nice, right?

Delray Beach is only one of two places that grew rents over 10% in the last five months. Its already-high average rent of $2,200 a month grew by 12.1% in May. That means rent increased $266 dollars to $2,467 a month.

I guess it really does pay to live by the sea.

1. Nashville, Tennessee

Get out your drums, guitars, and microphones—we’re singing all the way to Music City. Nashville tops our list as having the largest rent growth so far in 2020.

Even with COVID-19, Nashville saw a staggering 14.8% rent increase over the last five months. Its average monthly rent at the start of the year was $1,772. That’s grown to $2,034 in May.

For context on how crazy this is, if Nashville were to keep up that trend for the rest of the year, they would be at a 30% annual rent growth. That means places would rent on average for well over $500 a month more than they did at the end of 2019.

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed learning about the cities with the largest rent increases so far this year. There’s still a lot of the year to finish. And depending on how this whole coronavirus mess plays out, these numbers could be completely different by the end of the year.

If you’re looking for more insightful data—because good decisions are based on good data—on historical and future-looking trends in the real estate market, be sure to check out the BPInsights

Think your city should have made the list?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
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    Sean Spitzer Investor
    Replied 6 months ago
    Seems hard to believe in Nashville. So dependent on the entertainment industry, I can’t see how that hasn’t has an impact. I have family there and it’s been a ghost town the last three months. I know healthcare is huge there and maybe that offset the entertainment industry
    Chris Pung Investor from Brooklyn, New York
    Replied 6 months ago
    I am also not from Nashville and have no experience there, but a quick internet search shows that the rent increase is being driven by a planned 34% property tax increase in Davidson County. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/06/17/nashville-approves-new-budget-34-percent-tax-hike-increase-funds-police-schools/3200993001/ https://fox17.com/news/local/property-tax-hike-will-increase-nashville-rent-prices-up-to-40-percent Does anyone think there is opportunity in buying rental property just outside of Davidson County?
    Nick Palles Real Estate Agent from Nashville, TN
    Replied 6 months ago
    I'm an agent that works primarily in the surrounding counties. We saw a huge jump in sales in June and July has started out very strong. Our brokerage specializes in investment-grade property so I'd say it's a decent indicator that the opportunity is there.
    Shawn Hagler
    Replied 6 months ago
    I'm in the process of finding a tenant for my property in downtown Houston, and it seems a little more like a race to the bottom vs the rent increases you're suggesting. It could just be my specific area, my particular class of property I have which is higher than median, and maybe what I'm hearing from others about rent decreases is completely anecdotal. However, something seems off with what this article is inferring. Could this possibly be a misinterpretation of the numbers?
    Kaelyn Motzel Property Manager from Houston, TX
    Replied 6 months ago
    If you look at stats on HAR, February and March increased in rent slightly. But since March they have decreased. Here are the rental rates from HAR: April: SFR down 1.7%, condos and townhomes down 1.2% May: SFR down 2.8%, condos and townhomes down 4.6% We'll see how June numbers come in!
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied 6 months ago
    Rents have increased in both places where I own properties (Mississippi and Tahoe) but I can't in good conscience raise my rents until I know my tenants are doing better.
    Daniel Pessin
    Replied 6 months ago
    Interesting, thanks for sharing!
    Marilyn Coleman
    Replied 6 months ago
    Thanks for the information.
    Dellinda Rabinowitz
    Replied 6 months ago
    Plant City, Florida seems to be right on top.
    Jared Wicker Lender from Sharpsburg, GA
    Replied 6 months ago
    I'm seeing the exact opposite trend in Houston multi-family rent. I'm showing Net Effective Rents down 13.4% YoY, from $1,454 last year to $1,259 this year. Obviously there will be differences between SFR and Apartments, but the exact opposite trend is not something that I would expect.
    Andrew Hogan Specialist from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 6 months ago
    We're seeing strong results in Indy (multifamily -- perhaps Brandon's stats were just for SFRs) At least our portfolio has seen 7% top-line revenue growth for the first half of the year and getting ready to raise rents again with occupancy at 96.2%. Collections have increased to 99%+ and more deal flow as a result of Covid.
    Wale Lawal Realtor | Buy & Hold Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 6 months ago
    Good write-up @Brandon Turner. Houston still remain strong and even more competetive right now. COVID-19 has even kept the mortgage industry busier than ever. I guess because of the current low interest rate. Off-market deals have started coming in slowly. As an Agent, volume of transaction has increased during this Pandemic. Thank you
    Kevin Wood Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 6 months ago
    This is why I invest in Houston and help others achieve their wealth goals here through management. Houston is also one of the few cities in the country that has added population EVERY YEAR since it's been tracked. Great growth and no zoning means that you get some of the best rent to price ratios in the entire country!