Department of Numbers

Buffalo New York Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Buffalo, NY (the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro area) was $749 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Buffalo was $749 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Buffalo median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

Data is also available below for Buffalo rental vacancy rates, Buffalo rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Buffalo.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Buffalo New York (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
New York Median Gross Rent $1,194 +0.51% +7.09%
Buffalo, NY Median Gross Rent $749 +0.81% +3.74%

Buffalo, NY Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Buffalo peaked in real terms in 2008 at $756 and is now $7 (0.93%) lower. From a recent low of 703.0 in 2011, real median gross rent has now increased by $46 (6.54%). Average gross rent for Buffalo peaked in real terms in 2015 at $759 and is now $10 (1.32%) lower.

Real Gross Rent in Buffalo: Buffalo NY Median, Buffalo NY Average, New York Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Buffalo

Date US
Median
New York
Median
Buffalo, NY
Median
Buffalo, NY
Average
2016 $981 $1,194 $749 $749
2015 $972 $1,188 $743 $759
2014 $942 $1,157 $745 $732
2013 $910 $1,115 $722 $718
2012 $898 $1,096 $703 $724
2011 $898 $1,091 $703 $728
2010 $912 $1,089 $717 $727
2009 $916 $1,071 $722 $734
2008 $932 $1,078 $756 $751
2007 $885 $1,018 $715 $702
2006 $895 $1,026 $728 $726
2005 $869 $1,004 $722 $706

Buffalo Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Buffalo New York was 6.08% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Buffalo New York

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
New York 4.42% +0.01% +0.25%
Buffalo, NY 6.08% -1.08% -0.46%

Trends in Buffalo, NY Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Buffalo peaked in 2006 at 8.58%. Since then it has fallen by 2.50% to 6.08%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2011 post peak low of 5.56%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.52%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Buffalo NY, New York, US

Rental vacancy rate in New York

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Buffalo

Date US New York Buffalo, NY
2016 5.89% 4.42% 6.08%
2015 5.85% 4.41% 7.16%
2014 6.32% 4.34% 6.73%
2013 6.49% 4.17% 6.54%
2012 6.77% 4.34% 6.06%
2011 7.40% 4.48% 5.56%
2010 8.17% 5.03% 7.61%
2009 8.43% 4.78% 8.01%
2008 7.86% 4.68% 6.61%
2007 7.87% 4.70% 7.78%
2006 7.70% 4.94% 8.58%
2005 7.74% 4.80% 7.72%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Buffalo, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Buffalo, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 16.80% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Buffalo New York Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
New York 22.78% -0.36% -0.42%
Buffalo, NY 16.80% -0.19% -0.24%

Trends in Buffalo, NY Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Buffalo household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 17.71%. Since then it has fallen by 0.91% to 16.80%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Buffalo NY, New York, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Buffalo New York

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Buffalo New York

Date US New York Buffalo, NY
2016 20.43% 22.78% 16.80%
2015 20.63% 23.13% 16.99%
2014 20.89% 23.40% 17.71%
2013 20.78% 23.20% 17.05%
2012 20.65% 22.94% 16.52%
2011 20.70% 22.98% 17.38%
2010 20.50% 22.60% 17.37%
2009 20.12% 21.60% 17.37%
2008 19.00% 20.41% 16.74%
2007 18.66% 20.34% 17.05%
2006 18.90% 20.43% 17.40%
2005 18.89% 20.40% 17.16%

Renter Fraction in Buffalo New York

You can calculate the renter fraction in Buffalo in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Buffalo as a fraction of total Buffalo households. In 2016 34.06% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Buffalo Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
New York 46.72% -0.21% +0.37%
Buffalo, NY 34.06% -0.72% +0.02%

Trends in the Buffalo, NY Renter Fraction

The Buffalo household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 34.78% and is now 0.72% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Buffalo NY, New York, US

Fraction of renters in Buffalo

History of Buffalo Renter Fraction

Date US New York Buffalo, NY
2016 36.88% 46.72% 34.06%
2015 36.97% 46.93% 34.78%
2014 36.90% 47.02% 33.57%
2013 36.50% 46.35% 34.04%
2012 36.09% 46.35% 34.10%
2011 35.42% 46.41% 34.19%
2010 34.65% 45.75% 34.48%
2009 34.13% 44.97% 33.42%
2008 33.36% 44.71% 33.35%
2007 32.80% 44.48% 32.70%
2006 32.73% 44.40% 33.22%
2005 33.10% 44.67% 32.95%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.