Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, house prices and rents have been constantly on the rise nationwide. While both rents and house prices are known to have long-term rising trend, the exponential rise in recent years causes a lot of problems for low and average-income families who have a hard time keeping up with the increasing trend.
According to industry experts, there are two main reasons for this exponential rise: printing a lot of money, leading to very decades-high inflation; and Covid-19 measures and lockdowns that eventually resulted in “working from home”, additionally increasing the demand for rentals.
The rising demand for rentals was also fueled by major investors who saw an amazing investment opportunity while the country was struggling with the pandemic. Real estate is usually a safe, long-term investment, and the rising rental demand has made these investments even more popular for giant corporate investors who usually buy units in bulk and overpay them just to beat the competition.
Just like any other state, Texas is also affected by this trend. Those who have been looking to rent a house or apartment recently, most certainly have noticed that the market has completely changed and affordable rentals are a thing of the past.
Per Rent.com, an apartment search engine and online marketplace, the average price of a studio in Dallas is now $1,445 on average, which is a +6% annual change. One-bedroom apartment costs $1,544, two-bedroom apartment costs $2,123 and three-bedroom apartment costs $2,524 which is +10%, +37% and +60% respectively, compared to last year’s prices. Most rentals (54%) cost more than $2,100.
Even though prices have gone up a lot in recent years, the demand for rentals still remains high, while the supply remains more or less the same. If we add the skyrocketing inflation to the equation, we can easily understand why more and more people in the area can’t afford to rent a house or apartment and are on the verge of homelessness.
According to Jennifer Duncan, a mother of three, the average price of a 3-bedroom apartment in the areas of Pleasant Grove, Grand Prairie, and Duncanville costs $1,700-$1,800 a month. Duncan, who lost her home in a fire recently, thinks the current rent prices are nothing but ridiculous and she probably won’t find a more affordable unit.
Duncan says she has a full-time job and earns around $20 per hour, but even though she has a steady and regular income, the rising food prices, utilities, and gas prices make it difficult for her to find an affordable house or apartment.
The president and CEO of Family Gateway says the Dallas-based nonprofit, Ellen Magnis, has seen twice as many calls for help from families over the first six months of this year compared to 2021 and five times as many families having eviction proceedings initiated against them over the same time period.
Magnis added that the current rental market brings many people very close to homelessness. According to Magnis, there’s a shortage of available units and the units that are available are too expensive. These two things lead to homelessness spikes.
Industry experts believe that the current situation won’t change anytime soon. Millions of Americans nationwide are impacted by rent prices.