Consumers kept up their demand for single-family rental homes in March as uncertainty about interest rates and inflation continued to weigh on the resale segment of the Houston housing market. There was slightly less interest in townhomes and condominiums for rent.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR’s) March 2023 Rental Market Update, single-family home rentals rose 15.1 percent year-over-year with the average lease climbing 3.5 percent to $2,149. A total of 3,804 leases were signed versus 3,305 in March 2022.

New listings of single-family rentals surged 19.5 percent in March, providing a sufficient supply of homes to meet the escalating demand. Days on Market, or the actual number of days it took to lease a home, rose from 28 to 38 days.

“Consumers have not eased off their demand for single-family rental homes, which means there is still some apprehension about buying a home at this time,” said HAR Chair Cathy Treviño with Side, Inc. “I believe that as consumers see the Fed leaving interest rates alone and housing prices continue to moderate with more listings coming onto the market, we will finally start to see an uptick in sales.”

The townhome/condominium rental market was down in March. Leases of those properties fell 4.0 percent with 597 units leased compared to 622 last year. The average lease price was unchanged at $1,858. New listings jumped 15.1 percent and Days on Market went from 36 to 43 days.

Pre-pandemic Perspective: Compared to the last March before the pandemic, single-family home rentals are up 12.4 percent. In March 2019, leases were signed for 3,383 single-family homes. The average rent is currently 23.1 percent higher than it was back then – $1,746. Townhome/condominium rentals totaled 641 in March 2019. That is 6.9 percent ahead of the March 2023 volume. The average townhome/condo rent is currently 20.7 percent above its March 2019 price of $1,539.

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.