Can anyone afford to rent anymore? Analysis shows rents through the roof

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Renting’s no longer an option

Rents are getting more and more out of hand. According to a new analysis from Trulia, some regions have seen rents rise as much as 50 percent in the last 10 years. The nation, as a whole, has experienced rent gains of nearly 20 percent since 2012.

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The worst places to rent

It’s not just big cities that are seeing jumps in the rent department. Even smaller metros are feeling the burn, with cities like Tacoma, Washington, and Deltona, Florida, claiming some of the highest rent growth rates in the nation.

In 2017 alone, Tacoma saw rents jump almost 9 percent, clocking in at an average $1,795 per month by year’s end.

Rising rent crisis: Tenants struggle to keep up as rents skyrocket

Other cities to top the rent increase list included Milwaukee, Wisconsin (8 percent); Los Angeles (8 percent); Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida (6.9 percent); Salt Lake City (6.7 percent); Fresno, California (6.2 percent); and Las Vegas (5.9 percent.)

And according to Trulia, in most of these areas, homeownership is a more affordable option – sometimes by as much as 37 percent.

“San Francisco and San Jose are standouts in the nation’s housing markets for consumers considering renting or buying,” Trulia reported. “Our most recent analysis found those markets are close to toss-ups when it comes to buying or renting assuming a 30-year fixed mortgage and staying in a home at least seven years. Among the rest of the top 100 housing markets, it’s still significantly cheaper – 37.4 percent based on the median in those markets – to buy.”

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Will rents keep rising?

Rents will likely keep increasing in many areas, but according to Trulia “there is some hope for relief” in others. More multi-family construction could help, but as new, single-family home starts are starting to outpace those, homeownership could become even more affordable in the long run.

Confidence in construction: New home starts and completions up

“More supply could release pressure on prices for both buying and renting,” Trulia reported. “Last year, building permits increased from 2016. And while multi-family construction has slowed somewhat recently in favor of single-family building, some markets have seen a big jump in new construction compared to their historical pace. Among them: Denver, San Francisco, San Jose. Homebuilding in those markets is much needed.”

The Deltona-Dayton Beach metro likely won’t see relief from construction, though, according to Trulia. In fact, building is actually lower than historical averages at the moment.

Get today’s mortgage rates

If you’re in one of these high-rent areas, you might want to consider buying a home next time your lease is up for renewal. Shop around and see what mortgage rates you’d qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Jul 12th, 2020)