LYNCHBURG, Va. – If you feel like you’ve been priced out of the housing market, you might not find much more luck in the rental market. Rent prices have been rising throughout the pandemic, and it doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon.
Apartment hunters across the country aren’t imagining the sticker shock. In a recent study, Relator.com says the average price surged nearly 20% in the past year.
Virginia is ranked number 19 for the highest states to rent out of 56 states and territories.
“When I first got into the business of property management, my average rent rate was about $950,” Tricia Anderson said. “Today, it’s closer to $1,300.”
Tricia Anderson is the owner of Property Management Specialist in Lynchburg. She’s been in the game of renting for about 15 years.
She said there are a number of reasons why folks are seeing big swings as they get ready to renew their lease. Adding, it comes down to basic economics.
“There is a huge amount of people looking for rentals and there’s not a lot out there,” she said. “The real estate market has been so good the past couple of years, a lot of investors are selling off their rental properties.”
Anderson said the pandemic’s impact on housing prices is also is creating a larger demand for rent. Realtors like Michelle Rhodenizer agree.
“I think a lot of people are afraid right now is not a good time to buy. I think a lot of people have the misconception that things are just priced so ridiculously high that they are going to lose value,” Rhodenizer said. “That’s not the case because the rates are so good right now that you’d pay the same monthly mortgage at a lower interest rate in a higher-priced home than down the road.”
In Roanoke, Rhodenizer said most houses don’t sit on the market for more than five days. She added, there’s no shortage in buyers, but there aren’t enough houses.
“I think a lot of people continue renting because they don’t know about all the options available. Different lenders have different programs, they have different grants,” she said. “I think even if a renter is the slightest bit interested, they should reach out to a realtor, or do their homework and read online, reach out to lenders and see what else is available to them.”
Rhodenizer said it’s important tenants know their rights, so they aren’t taken advantage of. In Virginia, landlords must give a 90-day notice before making changes to any fees.