As Housing Slumps, Rents Rise

Average rent is expected to increase 5.3 percent this year, NAR says.


Seems like a pretty good time to be a renter, huh? While everyone else is sobbing over the free-falling value of their homes, renters can rest easy knowing that at least they haven't plowed money into a losing investment.

Not so fast.

As the good folks over at the Real Estate Bloggers point out, nonhomeowners are already facing higher rental prices, and things could be even worse by the end of the year.

From Realtor magazine, the bathroom-stall must-read of real estate professionals everywhere:

The median asking rate for rentals has jumped 14 percent, from $591 a month during the fourth quarter of 2003 to $673 a month in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Vacancy rates are down from last year, and average rent is projected to rise 5.3 percent in 2008, up from a 3.1 percent increase in 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.

So what do average rents look like in different parts of the country?

From Realtor magazine:

Here are median rents for the first quarter of 2008 in 12 major metropolitan areas:

Atlanta:   $986
Austin:   $907
Boston:   $1,645
Chicago:   $1,355
Las Vegas:   $1,056
Los Angeles:   $1,699
Miami:   $1,368
New York:   $1,751
Phoenix:   $939
San Francisco:   $1,810
Seattle:   $1,211
Washington D.C.:   $1,687

Only 1,800 bucks in San Francisco? Man, they are giving that away.

Thanks again to the Real Estate Bloggers for their post.