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Why Rent Prices Are Skyrocketing Right Now, Hurting Families: 'We Still Have to Feed Our Kids'

04-22-2022
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Exchanging Money
Exchanging Money

As inflation rises, the cost of living is getting out of reach. Monthly rent is skyrocketing, causing many to scramble for an affordable place to live. 

According to Realtor.com, rent prices recently hit a national average of $1,792 in the country's 50 largest metropolitan areas. That is a 17 percent increase over 2021. It's an issue that poses a big problem for many renters.

For the past few years, Antonio and Shakia Matthews of Newport News, Virginia, have dreamed of buying a new home for their growing family. 

The cost of housing, however, put that dream on hold, causing the couple to continue renting. It is a move they discovered would also increase more than they expected, especially for the living space they need.

"Each place we went to they wanted like $1,700 for a three-bedroom," Antonio told CBN News. 

Finding an apartment within their budget proved to be a challenge for the Matthews. 

"We tried out Hampton," Antonio continued. "Hampton was too high, like $2,000."

"We still have to pay for food to feed our kids. We have three boys. We still need the internet to do things," said Shakia.

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It is an issue renters are facing nationwide.

According to Rent.com, 48 states have seen a significant spike in average rent prices. 

Zillow reports that from February of last year, Miami-Fort Lauderdale saw a 32% spike in rent from $2,173 to $2,871.

Phoenix, Arizona saw rent prices jump from $1,507 to $1,884. And in Austin, Texas, the average rent skyrocketed from $1,467 to nearly $1,800 a month.

Brian Carberry, the senior managing editor at Rent.com, pointed to several reasons for the increased rates, such as supply and demand.

"There's just so many renters looking for an apartment and so few available units for them," Carberry told CBN News. "A lot of people who have been in apartments are staying put. They're not moving right now so that just means there's not a lot of available inventory."

"The three bedrooms are being snatched quick," Shakia explained. "When we first went to check out the apartment the three-bedroom was available. When we came back it was already taken."

Carberry said another key factor is rising inflation.

"Costs and materials and goods, everything costs more money to do anything," explained Carberry. "So, if newer apartments are coming on the market or repairs need to be done to older apartments landlords have to pay a little bit more for that and they're going to look to recoup that money from renters."

It is an expense Carberry said renters should expect for some time.

"It may still take another year or two and there's a lot going on with the world right now, obviously that really can throw a wrench in all into all of this so we're just kind of waiting and seeing and keeping our fingers crossed and just kind of praying and hoping for the best," he said. 

Meanwhile, the Matthews eventually found an apartment, still $400 over their original budget. Even so, they are grateful for a place to call home.

"It was definitely a struggle, and we trust God in everything. So, God provided," Antonio said. 

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