During the past year, the national median rent increased by 2.8 percent to $1,445. For the seventh consecutive month, Sacramento led the nation with the fastest rental growth, up more than eight percent to $1,849. Minneapolis and Atlanta were also high-rent markets, each reporting an approximately 4.5 appreciation rate over the past year. In comparison, home values rose 7.6 percent year-over-year in February to a median of $210,200.
San Jose, Calif., Las Vegas and Seattle reported the greatest home value growth over the past year. In San Jose, home values rose more than 26 percent since last February to a median of $1,252,400. In Las Vegas, the median home value rose almost 16 percent; in Seattle, the median home value rose 14 percent.
"Rental appreciation slowed between 2015 and mid-2017, but is once again picking up steam, reaccelerating over the past nine months," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "For-sale inventory is tight, and with home prices continuing their rapid climb, it's becoming more and more difficult for renters to become owners, forcing them to rent longer than they otherwise would have. Searching for the 'right' home has become a drawn-out affair and rising prices require more savings for a down payment. Were it not for strong new apartment construction over the past half-decade, rental appreciation would be even stronger than it is now."