Department of Numbers

Houston Texas Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Houston, TX (the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area) was $1,009 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Houston was $1,067 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 Houston median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Houston Texas (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Texas Median Gross Rent $956 +1.27% +10.90%
Houston, TX Median Gross Rent $1,009 +1.82% +13.24%

Houston, TX Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,009, real median gross rent in Houston was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. At $1,067, real average gross rent in Houston was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Houston: Houston TX Median, Houston TX Average, Texas Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Houston

Date US
Median
Texas
Median
Houston, TX
Median
Houston, TX
Average
2016 $981 $956 $1,009 $1,067
2015 $972 $944 $991 $1,053
2014 $942 $903 $945 $1,004
2013 $910 $862 $891 $949
2012 $898 $844 $887 $942
2011 $898 $839 $876 $926
2010 $912 $855 $903 $947
2009 $916 $858 $923 $969
2008 $932 $869 $912 $956
2007 $885 $824 $870 $910
2006 $895 $834 $877 $899
2005 $869 $801 $838 $872

Houston 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 Houston Texas was 7.28% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Houston Texas

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Texas 7.65% +0.70% -0.21%
Houston, TX 7.28% +0.82% -1.11%

Trends in Houston, TX Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Houston peaked in 2010 at 13.76%. Since then it has fallen by 6.48% to 7.28%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 6.46%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.82%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Houston TX, Texas, US

Rental vacancy rate in Texas

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Houston

Date US Texas Houston, TX
2016 5.89% 7.65% 7.28%
2015 5.85% 6.95% 6.46%
2014 6.32% 7.30% 7.13%
2013 6.49% 7.86% 8.39%
2012 6.77% 8.53% 10.17%
2011 7.40% 9.23% 11.64%
2010 8.17% 10.60% 13.76%
2009 8.43% 10.69% 12.27%
2008 7.86% 10.24% 12.55%
2007 7.87% 10.61% 13.57%
2006 7.70% 10.28% 10.91%
2005 7.74% 10.60% 12.57%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Houston, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Houston, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.62% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Houston Texas Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Texas 20.28% +0.19% +0.39%
Houston, TX 19.62% +0.53% +1.09%

Trends in Houston, TX Rent as a Fraction of Income

Houston renters paid 19.62% of median household income towards the median monthly gross rent in 2016. This is the highest fraction of median household income going to rent since the series originated in 2005.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Houston TX, Texas, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Houston Texas

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Houston Texas

Date US Texas Houston, TX
2016 20.43% 20.28% 19.62%
2015 20.63% 20.10% 19.09%
2014 20.89% 20.27% 18.72%
2013 20.78% 19.89% 18.53%
2012 20.65% 19.65% 18.74%
2011 20.70% 19.75% 18.56%
2010 20.50% 19.77% 18.82%
2009 20.12% 19.59% 18.79%
2008 19.00% 18.42% 17.19%
2007 18.66% 18.52% 17.55%
2006 18.90% 18.99% 17.86%
2005 18.89% 19.11% 18.04%

Renter Fraction in Houston Texas

You can calculate the renter fraction in Houston 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 Houston as a fraction of total Houston households. In 2016 40.83% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Houston Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Texas 38.91% -0.03% +0.75%
Houston, TX 40.83% -0.50% +0.96%

Trends in the Houston, TX Renter Fraction

The Houston household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 41.33% and is now 0.50% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Houston TX, Texas, US

Fraction of renters in Houston

History of Houston Renter Fraction

Date US Texas Houston, TX
2016 36.88% 38.91% 40.83%
2015 36.97% 38.94% 41.33%
2014 36.90% 38.84% 40.94%
2013 36.50% 38.16% 39.87%
2012 36.09% 37.72% 38.65%
2011 35.42% 37.08% 38.44%
2010 34.65% 36.42% 37.16%
2009 34.13% 36.32% 37.74%
2008 33.36% 35.10% 36.63%
2007 32.80% 34.82% 36.12%
2006 32.73% 34.75% 36.52%
2005 33.10% 35.29% 37.05%

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.