Grumbling over the rising price of rent? You’re not the only one — across the country, it’s becoming more expensive to rent, with rates rising at a pace that hasn’t been seen since before the financial crisis. Fear of even higher rents might be keeping tenants in their apartments as well, as the vacancy rate was the lowest it’s been since 2001.
Many people are likely turning to rentals instead of buying a home, because even though rents have been higher since 2009, the current sluggish housing market and strict lending conditions is making it difficult to own a house or apartment. Add in a lack of new construction and there are more people fighting to squeeze into smaller areas at higher prices.
Real estate research firm Reis Inc. says asking rents rose to $1,091 per month, a 1% uptick from the first quarter and the biggest jump since 2007. Once you take out perks like months of free rent to entice renters, the average effective rent rose 1.3% to $1,041.
“The improvement in rents is pretty pervasive,” said Ryan Severino, Senior Economist at Reis. “Even in places like Providence and Knoxville, which you don’t think of as hotbeds for apartment activity, landlords felt the market was strong enough to raise rents on their tenants.”
For those looking for the best bargain out there, you might want to check out Wichita, Kansas, which has a monthly rent of less than half the U.S. average at $510.