Rent gains inched up again to 3.4% on an annual basis in March, with the median monthly cost for a U.S. three-bedroom home at $2,052 in February, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index, which analyzes single-family rent price changes nationally and across major metropolitan areas.

However, attached single-family rental prices declined by -0.6% year over year in March, compared with the 3.4% increase for detached rentals — marking the first annual decrease in this category in 14 year. Overbuilt areas, such as Austin, Texas continued to soften, decreasing by 3.5% annually in March, according to the report.

But overall these latest SFR numbers, especially for detached rentals, illustrate its core strength right now — namely that potential homebuyers who are priced out of the home-purchase market are choosing to rent similar alternatives, according to Molly Boesel, principal economist for CoreLogic.

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