Residential rental rates level off

While peak rental season is at an end for 2019, Allendale still is the most expensive place in Michigan to rent an apartment, according to a national survey.

A sluggish fall rental season has the average national rent at $1,476, representing a 3.2% or $46 annual increase. RENTCafé found fewer people are moving into new apartments in October. The national average rent inched up just 0.1%, or $1, in October, with apartment rates leveling off for the past few months.

Alexandra Ciuntu, creative writer and researcher for RENTCafé, said once peak rental season gives way to the autumn months, average rent prices tend to stagnate if not decrease.

“One reason is that renters are less interested in moving once summer is over for various reasons,” Ciuntu said. “This is partly because cold weather is starting to settle in, which makes moving even more of a hassle, and partly because renters could be waiting for the even colder months to relocate as they tend to be the cheapest.”

The average rent in Michigan cities is generally lower than the national average rent, mainly because of the state’s inventory.

“Around 60% of residential properties in the Michigan cities analyzed are workforce type, generally considered more affordable, which reflects such demand in the area,” Ciuntu said. “By comparison, only 8% are high-end units with more expensive asking prices.”

The fastest-growing rents in October were in Royal Oak, where prices increased by 2.2% month over month, or $23. Dearborn apartments saw the second-highest monthly increase, jumping by 1.9% and making them $26 more expensive than last month. In Farmington, prices decreased by 1.3% or $13 compared to September.

In West Michigan, Grand Rapids rents increased by 0.7%, or $7, over the past month, hitting $1,073 per month in October. Grandville had an average rent of $997 and a 0.6% month-over-month increase.

Allendale apartments, with their proximity to Grand Valley State University, continue to be the state’s most expensive for renters, with an average rent of $1,600. Rental rates dropped by a mere 0.2% over last month.

Kentwood rates averaged $1,007 but dropped almost as much as prices in Farmington, by 1.1% over last month. In Wyoming, rental rates averaged $921 and rose by 0.3%.

Holland prices averaged $774 for a 0.5% increase. Kalamazoo charges averaged $923 and rose by 0.2%. And in Muskegon, there was an average rent of $706 and a 0.7% month-over-month increase.

Ann Arbor had the second-highest average rent just behind Allendale at $1,584, with a 1% month-over-month increase. On the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest city to rent an apartment from among the cities analyzed is Flint, with an average rent of $629.

Rents in Michigan’s largest city, Detroit, decreased by 0.2% in October, averaging $1,075.


RENTCafé is a nationwide apartment search website. Data on average rents included in its reports comes directly from market-rate large-scale multifamily properties — 50 or more units in size — via telephone survey.

The data is compiled and reported by RENTCafé’s sister company, Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors.

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