Consumers continued to seek out homes to rent across Greater Houston in August, though not quite at the record-setting pace they did in July. The driving force remains ongoing concerns about housing affordability and elevated mortgage interest rates.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR’s) August 2023 Rental Market Update, leases of single-family homes rose 12.0 percent year-over-year with the average lease price edging up 1.5 percent to $2,344 – the second highest of all time. A total of 4,096 leases were signed compared to 3,656 in August 2022. That is the third highest volume of single-family leasing on record.

New listings of single-family rentals rose 8.4 percent in August, providing a sufficient supply of homes to meet the sustained demand. Days on Market, or the actual number of days it took to lease a home, increased from 23 to 28 days.

“The one trend that has been consistently strong across greater Houston throughout 2023 is demand for single-family rental homes,” said HAR Chair Cathy Treviño with LPT, Realty. “The rental market will likely remain strong until consumers feel confident about returning to the resale market if and when interest rates ease and pricing hits what they consider their sweet spot.”

The townhome/condominium rental market held its own in August. Leases of those properties were statistically flat with 706 units leased compared to 704 last year. The average lease price rose 2.2 percent to $1,969 – below June’s record high of $2,048. New listings jumped 15.2 percent and Days on Market went from 28 to 33 days.

Pre-pandemic Perspective: Compared to the last August before the pandemic, single-family home rentals are up 4.1 percent. In August 2019, leases were signed for 3,934 single-family homes. The average rent is currently 22.3 percent higher than it was back then – $1,916. Townhome/condominium rentals totaled 790 in August 2019. That is 11.9 percent above the August 2023 volume. The average townhome/condo rent is currently 20.3 percent above its August 2019 price of $1,637.

HAR’s Rental Market Update is distributed on the third Wednesday of each month, one week after the release of the monthly Sales Market Update. An archive of all these reports is available in the HAR Online Newsroom.