Rents have been soaring across the country. Of the top 50 U.S. metros with the highest average rent growth, the following areas have seen the biggest spikes, market research firm MPF found:
- San Francisco: 7.8%
- Oakland, Calif.: 6.9%
- Denver: 6.1%
- Seattle: 6%
- San Jose, Calif.: 5%
- Portland, Ore.: 4.4%
- Houston: 4.3%
- Austin, Texas: 4.1%
- West Palm Beach, Fla.: 4%
- Fort Worth, Texas: 3.6%
The rental increases have developers breaking ground on new projects in these hotbeds while investors are seeking to pick up everything from apartment buildings to existing single-family homes to rent. Even some homeowners are choosing to move out of their homes to rent them and bring in some extra cash. Some plan to use the extra cash to make general maintenance repairs on their home while they move into a second home.
What does a renter do in this market?
The rental increase is making this an excellent time to buy. Couple that with the recent findings from trulia.com that showed that in all of 100 large metros, owning a home is cheaper than renting one by as much as 44 percent nationwide over a seven-year period (depending on specific assumptions).
If you're considering buying, now is a good time to at least start the process. In some areas the existing housing inventory is lower so finding the right home may be more challenging. Rates are expected to continue to rise but by how much is uncertain. Still, according to Trulia, moderate interest rate increases would still not make owning a home more expensive than renting one.
The best thing interested buyers can do is to begin their research. Picking the most experienced and knowledgeable team to guide you through the process will strengthen your chances of landing the ideal home at the right price.