Rent on the rise in Houston

September 11, 2012 5:27:08 AM PDT
Rent in Houston is on the rise. In fact, it is rising faster here than in other parts of the country. If you are looking for place to live, this is not good news.

The average for rent in the Houston area is $750 a month, but good luck finding it. If you want a place in a new complex, that rent could nearly double.

Sterling Davis likes his apartment.

"Quiet, quiet neighborhood, not much noise," he said.

But there is one thing he does not like -- the rising rent.

Davis said, "The rent went up where I stay. Now ? for a one bedroom, I am paying $825."

Davis is not alone when it comes to spikes in rent. According to the real estate website Trulia.com, Houston saw the largest percentage increase in rents in the nation -- up 11 more than percent from a year ago but the Houston Apartment Association says the figure can be misleading.

Mack Armstrong, President-Elect of the HAA, explained, "In Houston overall, the average rental rate increases have been five and a half percent. In the higher end the number is nine and a half percent."

Armstrong says the spike in rent is due to increases in specific areas of town.

"You have a lot of strong demand in the Galleria and inside the loop," he said.

Armstrong adds nearly a quarter million apartments are still priced at less than $600. But there is another factor behind the rent spike -- the cost of leasing a home is up, too.

"It does have an impact," he said. "Single-family homes compete with three bedrooms or large two bedroom apartments throughout the city."

With more people coming to Houston to find work, the demand for rental homes is up and so are the prices. Cora Allen is among the renters who have made the move to leased house.

"I am paying $675 for a two bedroom house," she said. "That's the normal rent for a two-bedroom apartment and I got a house."

The housing bubble is another reason for the spike in rent. Many people who lost their homes moved into apartments or leased homes, further driving up the demand for the units.


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