Landlording & Rental Properties

7 Metros With the Biggest Rent Growth Over the Last 5 Years

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
573 Articles Written
Phoenix, Arizona, USA downtown cityscape at dusk.

With the help of our team of data scientists over at BPInsights, we want to share with you the top metro areas in the U.S. that saw the largest rent growth over the past five years. We’re not going to go super in-depth on why these metros made the list—it may be a lot of different reasons, like population increases or influx of new jobs or companies offering higher wages, more development, whatever.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

Here I just want to give you the hard data as to which metros saw the biggest rent growth over the past half a decade. And then maybe you can do some research to see if you want to invest there.

7. Phoenix, Arizona

Starting with number seven, it’s the sunny area of Phoenix. In 2015, the average rent in Phoenix was $1,049. But over the last five years, rent shot up by $508 to $1,558 on average in monthly rent.

That means it increased by 48% over five years. If you’re looking at it in terms of a compounded annual growth rate, which is a big fancy term, that would mean rents on average increased 8.2% per year over that timeframe. Crazy.

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

Now, if you placed your bets correctly, you would have been in the money with our number six metro: Las Vegas. Rents in Las Vegas shot up by 48.9% over the past five years, from $1,112 per average up to $1,655 in average rent in 2020.

Now this slightly edged out Phoenix with an 8.3% compounded annual growth rate over that same time period.

Related: Looking to Invest Out of State? Here’s How to Pick and Analyze a City

5. Atlanta, Georgia

Number five, we travel east all the way to Atlanta. Atlanta saw a 51.3% rent growth from 2015 to 2020. Their average monthly rent of $1,288 in 2015 increased by $600 towards that today for an average monthly rent of $1,949. That computes to an 8.6% compounded annual growth rate.

Aerial view downtown Atlanta skyline

4. Arlington, Texas

For number four, we have Arlington. Rents there shot up by 53% over the past five years from $894 in average monthly rent in 2015 to $1,368 in 2020. You know that rent increase is $474, equivalent to an 8.9% growth rate

3. Sacramento, California

Moving back to the West Coast, our number three metro: Sacramento. Sacramento experienced a 53.4% increase in rent growth from 2015 to 2020. Their average monthly rent went from $1,066 in 2015 and increased by $569 to where it’s at today for an average monthly rent of $1,636. That’s an 8.9% compounded annual growth rate

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

2. Colorado Springs, Colorado

In second place, we head to the Springs. No, not Palm Springs. We’re talking about Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs earned an impressive (if you’re a landlord) or scary (if you’re a tenant) 55.4% increase in average monthly rent over the past five years. Since 2015, monthly rents have increased by $595 there, from $1,074 in 2015 to $1,600 in 2020. That compounded annual growth rate: 9.2%.

Drumroll, please…

1. Saint Petersburg, Florida

At number one, the metro with the highest rent growth over the last five years is St. Petersburg.

Did you guess that? No worries, I didn’t either.

St. Petersburg, also known as the Sunshine City, blew past the competition with a 63.8% rent growth from 2015 to 2020. So in 2015, if you were to rent a place, it would have on average cost you $1,199. Fast forward five years, that same unit would cost you $765 more every month—$1,964 a month. That’s right, $765 average rent increases in five years.

St. Petersburg was the only metro in America with a compounded annual growth rate over 10%, at 10.4%.

Colorful condos, condominiums colorful, orange yellow multicolored buildings facade exterior with windows, palm trees, mansion real estate property in Florida or Spain

I hope you enjoyed digging into the numbers on the top seven metros with the highest rent growth over the past five years. Now, before I end, I do want to throw a little disclaimer out there. As is true of investing in stocks, past performance is not indicative of future results. So before you grab this list and assume that you are automatically going to get a 10% increase in rent every year if you buy a property in St. Petersburg, that may not be true.

As always, I encourage you to do your research and make sure you have the right team set up before you jump into a new real estate market.

Are you planning to invest in any of these markets? What do you think will make next year’s lists?

Tell us your plans and predictions in the comments.

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...
Read more
    Christopher Stacy Rental Property Investor from Wiesbaden Germany
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Wow I was hoping that Tampa made the list because I hope to retire there in the next few years. Moving my portfolio into a new market is something that I have been contemplating for a while now. St. Pete is certainly close enough! Thanks Brandon and thanks to the data science guy!
    Kevin McGuire Rental Property Investor from Seattle, WA
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great to see the data driven approach. I didn’t however see a description of where this data came from (yes from BPInsights but how did they source it?). As such, it’s difficult to interpret the resulting analysis.
    Jamie Oliver New to Real Estate from Phoenix, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    I’d like to see the percentage of people moving to each of those place who are coming from California (and the Bay Area for Sac). I see a new California tag in the neighborhood here in Phoenix every week it seems.
    Suzanne Villanueva
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Sacramento's rates grew because of major development and renovation in the area (new arenas, tons of downtown rehab and development, etc.). But since statewide rent control was passed by the legislature even though voters had rejected an attempt in 2018, it will be interesting to see how rental rates fare over the next five years. What made the statewide bill even worse is that it was made retroactive by six months, back to March 2019, and came with a number of anti-landlord provisions. I had been shopping for small multi-family rentals in the Sacramento area at the time, but I abandoned my search anywhere in CA when that bill passed. I have now sold off everything I owned in CA except for my own residence. If criminal laws continue to be de-fanged and the state continues to push out businesses, I will likely sell my residence and leave the state once I retire.