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4 of the 10 U.S. cities where rents rose the most in 2021 are all in one state

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Miami, Florida.
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Key Points
  • High demand and competition has led to higher prices for apartments.
  • The median monthly cost for one-bedrooms jumped 11.6% in 2021, according to Zumper.
  • "If your landlord is willing to talk with you about a payment plan ... then take advantage," says real estate expert Joshua Haley.

Despite a slowdown at the start of the pandemic, rent prices are back up: The median monthly cost for a one-bedroom apartment grew 11.6% over the course of the year, according to Zumper's 2021 National Rent Report. Data from real estate site Redfin show monthly listed rents increased 14.1% year over year in December, to an average $1,877.

Rents in certain cities have risen two or three times as much over that period.

Housing analysts at Redfin used data from more than 20,000 apartment buildings across the U.S. to find where rents have risen the most recently. While prices have surged in typically expensive places like New York City, there are some surprises, too: Cities in the Sunshine State make up nearly half of the top 10.

Here are the 10 U.S. cities where rents spiked the most over 2021.

10. Portland, Oregon

Annual percent increase: 29%          
Average December 2021 rent: $2,392 

9. Jacksonville, Florida          

Annual percent increase: 32%          
Average December 2021 rent: $1,625       

8. West Palm Beach, Florida

Annual percent increase: 34%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,020       

7. Miami, Florida

Annual percent increase: 34%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,020       

6. Fort Lauderdale, Florida    

Annual percent increase: 34%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,020       

5. Newark, New Jersey          

Annual percent increase: 35%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,718

4. New York, New York

Annual percent increase: 35%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,718

3. New Brunswick, New Jersey

Annual percent increase: 35%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,718       

2. Nassau County, New York            

Annual percent increase: 35%          
Average December 2021 rent: $3,718

1. Austin, Texas         

Annual percent increase: 40%          
Average December 2021 rent: $2,290

The pandemic has caused trouble for 'thousands of renters'

High demand and more competition in hot housing markets have contributed to rising rents. Meanwhile, many local rent and eviction moratoriums have ended.

"This pandemic has been hard on the budgets of thousands of renters who are already struggling to make ends meet day-to-day and now face losing their homes because they can't pay the rent," says Joshua Haley, the founder of real estate website Moving Astute.

VIDEO4:1104:11
What to do if you can't pay rent because of coronavirus

Video by David Fang

The Biden administration has started reallocating unused funds from its $46.5 billion Emergency Rental Assistance program toward residents in high-cost areas like Washington, D.C., Houston, and San Diego.

Even if you don't live in one of those cities, there are actions you can take now if need help with rent.

Some states have ongoing protections, Ruth Shin, the CEO and founder of real estate startup PropertyNest, recently told Grow. "Depending on where you live, you may have access to rental payment assistance through local or non-profit organizations, she said. In Connecticut and Virginia, for example, landlords must apply for federal aid before they can move to evict a tenant.

You could ask your landlord for help directly. They may be willing to negotiate partial payments or other accommodations, says Haley. "While it might be hard to get your landlord on board, do not underestimate them. If your landlord is willing to talk with you about a payment plan that allows you to pay back the rent over time, then take advantage."

Look out for local regulations which could clue you in on the scale of potential hikes when your lease renews. Using a rent calculator could show how fair your rate is versus places near you.

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