Apartment rents climbing, poised to go higher

NEW YORK – April 12, 2019 – It’s a great time to be a landlord in America, not so much if you’re a renter.

Apartment rents are continuing to rise this year, fueled by higher demand from millennials looking for a place of their own, strong job growth and rising wages.

The U.S. median rent climbed 3.4 percent in March from a year earlier to $1,535, according to data from online rental housing portal HotPads.

While apartment construction surged in the years after the housing bust, it hasn’t kept up with demand, giving landlords the upper hand. Years of rising home prices, meanwhile, have made it more difficult for many would-be homebuyers to save up for a down payment.

“Even though mortgage rates are sliding a little bit and are lower than the historical average, you still have a huge amount of people who are not able to afford homes right now,” said Joshua Clark, an economist at HotPads. “That’s keeping people renting and that’s going to keep people competing against each other for the same units.”

The national median rent has risen annually since at least December 2012, the earliest data available from HotPads.

Source:  Copyright 2019 The Associated Press, Alex Veiga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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