Rent Report

A look back at San Antonio’s rent changes in 2018 — and what's ahead

A look back at San Antonio’s rent changes in 2018 — and what's ahead

San Antonio apartment building
Look for a steady upward trend in San Antonio rent prices. Photo courtesy of Abodo

San Antonio boasts numerous cultural and educational institutions that make it a very attractive place to live. With historic attractions and groundbreaking developments, San Antonio has led the way in both architectural and institutional innovation. Alamo City is a happening place to be, but the median rents may surprise you.

2018 rents so far
In January 2018, one-bedroom median San Antonio rents clocked in at $905, while two-bedroom units recorded a median rent of $1,116. Soon after, median one-bedroom rents fell to $900, but two-bedroom units rose to $1,144.

In early April, one-bedroom apartment rents dropped below the $900 mark to $880. Two-bedrooms also fell, but only to $1,127.

The third quarter showed stability, as one-bedrooms rose a little but still stayed below the $900 mark at $899. Two-bedroom rents began to accelerate, however, and charged ahead to $1,174.

October saw a continuance of the upward trend, as one-bedroom units rose to $915, and two-bedroom units almost crossed the magical $1,200 mark, posting a median price of $1,197.

Choosing the San Antonio suburbs to achieve cheaper rents was really not an option, as three suburbs were priced higher, while four were priced comparably or slightly below the city’s apartment rates. Still, even though San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States, its rents are considerably cheaper than its larger cousins — New York; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; and San Francisco.

Inflationary pressures are on the rise, and they will influence apartment rent prices. West Texas Crude oil crossed the $72 per barrel mark on October 16. Even though Permian Basin fracking companies have produced record amounts of crude, and even though the United States will soon become the world’s largest oil producer — making the impact of OPEC significantly less — demand for oil is strong.

With daily geopolitical tensions and the ever-present threat of a Gulf storm or a refinery breakdown, the outlook for higher oil prices is rosy. This fact adds to inflationary concerns, and inflation will impact San Antonio rent prices.

Additionally, mortgage rates of all kinds are creeping toward the 5 percent mark. When this happens — and it will, because of the Fed’s policy of interest rate tightening — more buyers become renters, as 5 percent mortgage rates mean less house, and because they are less likely to qualify for loans. 

Add all of that to South Texas’ allure and popularity, mix in a daily rate of 66 people moving to San Antonio, and you have a recipe for higher rents. Look for the steady upward trend to continue to the end of the year and beyond.