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Chart of the Day: Rent Inflation is Down

Samuel A. Kiburz Sep 7, 2023
rent indicated by blue line


Today I have good news for renters.

Rent for apartments is a component of the broader “Shelter” economic indicator. "Shelter" includes both apartment rentals and home ownership. Since indirect costs to own a home are hard to measure and updates are slower, as house ownership does not turn as fast as apartment rentals, apartment rental figures often update more frequently. This makes apartment rentals a leading indicator, or the canary in the coal mine, for the rest of the real estate market. Since "Shelter" also makes up 42% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) the Federal Reserve follows this industry closely.

In the chart, US rent for apartments, in blue, is falling by -0.1%, and fell from the peak of 18.2% in 2021. Rental inflation is now less than the long-term average of 3%, which means the rest of the real estate market and inflation may start to come down as well.

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