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Austin tops Texas cities for rent growth in 2021

Rent in Austin apartments have risen 26% from January 2020-January 2021. (City of Austin/Facebook)

Austin's average rent jumped by 26% from January 2021-to 2022, with the highest increase in the state of Texas, according to a Zumper National Rent report.

The city had the 7th highest jump in rent prices among the 101 U.S. cities studied. With a median price of $1,550 for a 1-bedroom rental, Austin jumped up three spots from a year prior coming in 26th on the list—the highest of all Texas cities studied.

Austin's median one-bedroom rent increased more than any other Texas city from January 2020-21. (Zumper)

Chart-toppers like New York City still have more than double the average Austin rent ($3,260). But for many traditional high-dollar areas, that gap is narrowing: rent in San Francisco, the Silicon Valley giant with the second-highest rental prices on the list, rose by 6.3% year-over-year, while all nine California cities with higher rent that Austin saw a change of 15% or less.

As companies and priced-out migrants reportedly flee to less-expensive markets, new growth hotspots in states like Florida and Arizona skyrocketed, including Miami (25.8%), Orlando (27.6%) Tampa (26.2%), Scottsdale, AZ (27.6%) and Gilbert (20.9%). Cities dubbed as mini Silicon Valleys, including Austin, grew as well: Boston's 1-bedroom rent leaped by 26.5% to third on the list, while Boise, Idaho rose by 24.3% and Las Vegas leaped up nine slots with a 27.5% increase in two-bedroom rent.

No longer a cheap city in the historical cheap state of Texas, Austin rent remains far from New York standards but is still nearly triple cities like Wichita, Kansas, which finished out the list with an average rent of $660. Increases in rent have come hand-in-hand with an influx of newcomers—Austin is one of America's top 20 "boomtowns", according to frequent vistor and billionaire Elon Musk and a December 2021 New York Times report.

And while a pandemic rent surge has been seen nationwide, some have noticed that more traditionally affordable cities like Austin have seen increases much more quickly. University of Texas associate economics professor Peter Bergman found that more than half of low-income Austin residents worry about getting evicted in the next year as rent increases coincide with inflation and income losses for many.

Fueled by new tech HQs, a nationwide pandemic surge in rent and a booming job market, Austin rent will likely continue to rise, especially as satellite cities like Cedar Park, Kyle and Buda continue to grow alongside the city.


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