Department of Numbers

State College Pennsylvania Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in State College, PA (the State College metro area) was $982 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in State College was $1,026 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 State College median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in State College Pennsylvania (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Pennsylvania Median Gross Rent $881 +0.23% +5.76%
State College, PA Median Gross Rent $982 +2.61% +12.36%

State College, PA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $982, real median gross rent in State College was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. Average gross rent for State College peaked in real terms in 2015 at $1,027 and is now $1 (0.10%) lower.

Real Gross Rent in State College: State College PA Median, State College PA Average, Pennsylvania Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for State College

Date US
Median
Pennsylvania
Median
State College, PA
Median
State College, PA
Average
2016 $981 $881 $982 $1,026
2015 $972 $879 $957 $1,027
2014 $942 $855 $919 $959
2013 $910 $833 $874 $1,009
2012 $898 $811 $927 $1,012
2011 $898 $811 $849 $943
2010 $912 $814 $881 $936
2009 $916 $803 $837 $899
2008 $932 $821 $870 $934
2007 $885 $769 $764 $826
2006 $895 $779 $823 $884
2005 $869 $772 $823 $940

State College 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 State College Pennsylvania was 4.21% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in State College Pennsylvania

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Pennsylvania 5.77% 0.00% -0.01%
State College, PA 4.21% +1.97% +2.90%

Trends in State College, PA Rental Vacancy Rate

At 4.21%, State College residential rental vacancy rate in 2016 is at the highest point since 2005, the beginning of our reporting for this series.

Rental Vacancy Rate: State College PA, Pennsylvania, US

Rental vacancy rate in Pennsylvania

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for State College

Date US Pennsylvania State College, PA
2016 5.89% 5.77% 4.21%
2015 5.85% 5.77% 2.24%
2014 6.32% 6.40% 1.90%
2013 6.49% 5.78% 1.31%
2012 6.77% 5.88% 1.77%
2011 7.40% 6.13% 1.33%
2010 8.17% 6.47% 2.48%
2009 8.43% 6.80% 2.66%
2008 7.86% 6.65% 1.94%
2007 7.87% 7.34% 1.50%
2006 7.70% 8.09% 3.14%
2005 7.74% 7.94% 1.20%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for State College, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For State College, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.55% in 2016 according to the ACS.

State College Pennsylvania Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Pennsylvania 18.58% -0.12% -0.53%
State College, PA 19.55% -0.58% -0.05%

Trends in State College, PA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median State College household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2010 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 22.15%. Since then it has fallen by 2.60% to 19.55%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: State College PA, Pennsylvania, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in State College Pennsylvania

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in State College Pennsylvania

Date US Pennsylvania State College, PA
2016 20.43% 18.58% 19.55%
2015 20.63% 18.70% 20.13%
2014 20.89% 19.12% 21.28%
2013 20.78% 19.11% 19.60%
2012 20.65% 18.69% 21.54%
2011 20.70% 18.78% 21.02%
2010 20.50% 18.58% 22.15%
2009 20.12% 17.88% 18.85%
2008 19.00% 17.18% 19.41%
2007 18.66% 16.92% 18.30%
2006 18.90% 17.22% 20.60%
2005 18.89% 17.43% 21.50%

Renter Fraction in State College Pennsylvania

You can calculate the renter fraction in State College 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 State College as a fraction of total State College households. In 2016 35.75% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

State College Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Pennsylvania 31.50% +0.22% +0.45%
State College, PA 35.75% -5.17% -2.35%

Trends in the State College, PA Renter Fraction

The State College household renter fraction peaked in in 2009 at 43.26% and is now 7.51% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: State College PA, Pennsylvania, US

Fraction of renters in State College

History of State College Renter Fraction

Date US Pennsylvania State College, PA
2016 36.88% 31.50% 35.75%
2015 36.97% 31.28% 40.92%
2014 36.90% 31.17% 40.19%
2013 36.50% 31.05% 38.10%
2012 36.09% 31.09% 39.49%
2011 35.42% 30.51% 40.86%
2010 34.65% 29.87% 41.34%
2009 34.13% 29.48% 43.26%
2008 33.36% 29.15% 37.97%
2007 32.80% 28.36% 37.32%
2006 32.73% 28.28% 40.24%
2005 33.10% 28.52% 41.43%

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.