Robust supply provides fuel for strong leasing activity

Single-family rentals continue to provide a critical alternative to would-be Houston homebuyers discouraged by limited inventory and escalating home prices and interest rates. According to the Houston Association of Realtors®’ July 2022 Rental Market Update, single-family home rentals rose 14.5 percent year-over-year, with the average rent climbing 6.2 percent to an all-time high of $2,296. A total of 3,706 leases were signed versus 3,236 in July 2021. 

New listings of single-family rentals jumped 26.5 percent, creating a wide variety of housing to consumers who have stepped out of the sales arena. Days on Market, or the actual number of days it took to lease a home, edged up from 17 days to 20. 

“For consumers in need of a roof over their head, Houston’s most accessible housing commodity right now appears to be the single-family rental home,” said HAR Chair Jennifer Wauhob with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. “The supply of rental homes is plentiful, however rental prices are steadily climbing, so it will be interesting to see at what point the pendulum may swing back in favor of for-sale homes.”

Consumers showed less interest in townhome and condominium rentals in July. Leases of those properties fell 5.4 percent on the year, with 695 units leased compared to 735 last July. Rents rose 9.4 percent to $1,925, which is slightly below the record high of $1,951 reached in May of 2022. New listings were up 8.3 percent. Days on Market dropped from 34 to 24 days.

HAR’s new 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.