OKLAHOMA, Okla. – We told you how much house costs have increased throughout the pandemic and now the rental prices are there with them.

“In 2021, we see rents rising at a frankly shocking rate,” said Jeff Andrews, data reporter on the rental listings website, Zumper.

He says his data shows the average rent in Tulsa is up 15% from what it was at the start of the pandemic.

“Basically what’s going on there is… the home selling market being so hot is starting to trickle down to the rental market,” Andrews said.

He explained that the housing market depends on a number of tenants to decide to stop renting and buying houses, freeing up their apartments for new tenants. But for a number of different reasons, these housing costs skyrocketed and many of these people were either shut out of the housing market or faced excessive competition, so they decided to keep renting. The problem is, the market expected these people to move out of these apartments and now there are more tenants than they expected.

“It’s more people,” Andrews said. “It’s more people with more money. And it just allows landlords to charge more in rent.

For many Oklahoma residents, rising rents are more than bad news.

“Thirty percent of renters have very little confidence that they will be able to pay their rent for the rest of the year,” said Nick Vinzandt, data analyst at Quote Wizard.

He said he and his fellow analysts searched the 2020 census responses to find their data.

“Fifteen percent of Oklahoma residents are behind on their rent right now,” Vinzandt said.

It is a problem which, according to the two experts, needs a solution quickly.

“The landlords are going to look at the market and say, well, the rent in Tulsa has gone up 15%, so I’m going to increase my rent by 15%,” Andrews said. “It’s a huge problem for low-rental housing.

So what is the immediate solution? Local groups like The Salvation Army and Restore Hope Ministries say they’re here to help make sure you have a roof over your head if you can’t afford it.

You can also call Eastern Oklahoma 2-1-1 for resources. Whether it is to help you find accommodation … or to help you cope with any other crisis you may be facing.

By Spencer Humphrey, FOX23 News

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