Why is the rent so high?

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (FOX Caroline) – Renters tell us that finding an apartment in their price range these days is getting harder and harder.

Greg Christian recently moved to Greenville from Tennessee. He says he left his last apartment because of rent inflation, but here he still pays nearly four times as much.

“Some places have different qualifications. Some places want you to earn three times the monthly rent,” Christian said, “So if you’re paying $1,400 a month, who’s making $4,200 on their own?

When Christian started shopping for apartments, he says it opened his eyes. He says one of his applications was denied because his credit wasn’t good enough. He says his credit isn’t that bad.

“I had to increase my price range to 14 cents, even though I didn’t really want to. It opened up the number of apartments I could apply for,” Christian said.

Blake Sizemore of Fountain Inn says he’s seeing price increases all over the upstate.

“I see 12 cents to 18 cents a month. I think it’s expensive,” Sizemore said.

Director of Clemson University’s master’s program in real estate development, Dustin Read, says inflation is the main driver; especially in the Greenville area.

“Greenville is a bit particularly well located in the sense that it is a medium-sized city in the solar belt with a diversified economy that was already growing very rapidly before the global pandemic and this trend has been exacerbated by an influx of people leaving other markets for the Southeast,” Read said.

Tenants remain tenants longer and do not move into houses. They compete with cash offers and companies that buy properties for profit.

“Buyers are coming in strong with full price offers as well as high cash or cash offers,” Read continues, “There are a number of very large companies, across the country, that are buying single family homes. only to hold them as rental properties.

Realtor.com says the national median was just below $1,800 in March. That’s a jump of 17% from last year.

In Greenville, the average is just over $1,200 after checking on some rental sites.

You would think that property managers would be more competitive. Read says that is not the case.

“You have intense competition for available rental units, which is putting upward pressure on rents,” Read said, “and the ability to provide new supply to the market has been limited.”

Sizemore, he’s making someone else pay the rent.

“I have another rental property to cover my rent,” Sizemore said.

And Christian had to settle for something higher than his ideal budget, but he hopes it won’t increase again.

“I can’t afford anything $1,600 or more. It’s just unlikely,” Christian said.

Read says it looks like prices could come down around the middle of this year, as he noticed the rate of rent increases were finally starting to come down.

About Jermaine Chase

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