US rental prices rose 3.3 percent in December; biggest gains in San Francisco Bay Area

Associated Press

U.S. home rental prices continued to climb at a modest pace in December, but rapidly escalating costs in cities such as San Francisco and Denver suggest that apartment dwellers are facing more financial pressure.

Real estate data firm Zillow says prices increased 3.3 percent in December compared with 12 months earlier. That's less than the recent appreciation in home values. But a surge in apartment costs in several of the hottest markets suggests that there will be financial challenges for renters who hope to eventually buy homes of their own.

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Rents jumped 15.4 percent in the San Francisco area and 10.5 percent in Denver. Tenants elsewhere are catching a break. In Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC, rents rose by less than 2.2 percent over the past 12 months.