HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — It’s not just the price of milk, meat and gasoline that’s rising. So is rent, and it’s rising too much for some tenants to keep afloat.

RENTS ARE RISING NEARLY 40% ACROSS THE COUNTRY SINCE 2014

The ABC13 data team has compiled rent counts for the past seven years in several cities across the country. What he found was that the rent was up 39% from seven years ago.

In Houston, rent has gone from $1,230 a month in 2014 to $1,515 in 2021. That’s an increase renters know all too well.

“I’m renting a two-bedroom apartment and since the last time I had to renew it, it’s gone up at least $400,” said tenant Venessa Manzanales.

“I looked at houses. I worked with a real estate agent,” said tenant Victoria Arredondo. “I tried to get something easy to move into. Even apartments, I looked at three-bedroom apartments. It’s between $1,600 and $2,200.”

Stephanie Graves, a member of the Houston Apartment Association, said like everything else, rent is going up. The cost of construction and renovation increases, as do the taxes that homeowners must pay.

“As the apartments get older, we buy them and we have to make improvements,” Graves explained. “Things are going up. Taxes are going up. So there’s definitely a price increase.”

Rising rents aren’t as bad as in other cities. In Phoenix, rent has increased by 88%, from $1,002 per month seven years ago to $1,885 in 2021.

In Los Angeles, rent has climbed 42% over the past seven years, from $1,886 per month to $2,644 per month.

It doesn’t climb that fast everywhere. In New York, rents rose only 17%. However, the average apartment costs $5,728 per month.

THERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN TRY TO REDUCE YOUR RENT RATE

Faced with rising monthly payments, some tenants feel there is nothing they can do. “It’s hard to stay afloat just trying, you know I work full time, my husband works full time and it’s just not enough,” Arredondo said.

Graves said there are ways to try to cut costs. Start by locking up a lease. Once you have a lease, the monthly amount cannot be changed during the term of the contract.

As you do with other products, shop around. If you can, expand your location to see other prizes.

Also, keep checking. Graves said prices change, so if you’ve already been offered a price, don’t be afraid to check. Finally, talk to your landlord.

“You may get a letter saying your rent will go up by that amount of money,” Graves explained. “I would ask these questions. I would go to my landlord, is there anything we can do? Can I sign a shorter lease for less money? Can I sign a longer lease? we do something to make it more affordable for me?”

RENTAL ONLY PRICES SHOULD CONTINUE TO RISE

ABC13 data shows that rent has increased 23% in Houston over the past seven years. However, it has climbed 10% in the past year alone.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Manzanales said. “It’s really expensive to live here.”

Graves said that with the cost of building materials, labor was on the rise. This will most likely lead to higher prices in the coming months.

“When you have permits to deal with, taxes, insurance and the rising costs of building apartments and renovating them, it’s hard to achieve that,” Graves said. “Do we expect the rent to go up? I expect everything to go up.”

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