The rent may still be too damn high, but at least its ascent is slowing a bit. That's what Zillow says in its 2016 Rent Forecast, which states that rent appreciation should level off to an annual rate of 1.1 percent nationally.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, we're not quite as lucky. Still considered a hot market, our rate will only go down to a 2.13 percent increase over 2016. But when you remember that last year's figure was 4.5 percent, suddenly it seems much more reasonable.
This means that the median rent here at the end of 2015 was $1,500 and is expected to increase to $1,532 over the next 12 months. Nationally, the median rent at the end of 2015 was $1,381 and is expected to increase slightly to $1,396 by December 2016.
“Hot markets are still going to be hot in 2016, but rents won’t rise as quickly as they have been,” said Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in a release. “The slowdown in rental appreciation will provide some relief for renters who’ve been seeing their rents rise dramatically every single year for the past few years. However, the situation remains tough on the ground: Rents are still rising and renters are struggling to keep up.”
Renters are especially struggling in San Jose (7.8 percent), Buffalo (7.4 percent), and San Francisco (5.9 percent), where people often pay 40 percent of their income to rent. Austin also shows up in the top 10 metros forecasted to have the highest rent increase, tying for No. 8 with Sacramento (3.4 percent).
Ultimately this slowdown means that, by the end of the year, rents will be rising at a slower pace than incomes in many markets. It's still a good idea to look into homeownership if that's a possibility, as home values in DFW rose 14 percent last year.