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Rent prices are hitting all-time highs, study finds

The national housing shortage that has persisted for years is playing a major role

Housing and rent prices rising concept
Photo (c) z_wei - Getty Images
Consumers who were stuck in a renting situation last year paid more than in years past.

A recent report from Zumper, a site that allows consumers to search for apartments, shows that the median rent on a one-bedroom apartment rose 12% year-over-year in 2021. That pushed prices to $1,374, on average. Prices rose even higher for two-bedroom apartments, at 14.1% growth year-over-year. Unfortunately, things don't seem to be off to a better start in 2022.

"Rent has opened 2022 in much the way it spent 2021 -- setting a new all-time high," Zumper's Jeff Andrews noted.

Here are the cities with the top five highest rent prices per month as of January 2022, according to Zumper's data:

  1. New York, N.Y. -- $3,260
  2. San Francisco, Calif. -- $2,850
  3. Boston, Mass. -- $2,720
  4. San Jose, Calif. -- $2,390
  5. Miami, Fl. -- $2,340

Consumers returning to cities

Housing demand has been recovering in recent months following the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. East coast cities like New York have seen an influx of residents who are making their way back after a mass exodus in 2020. That competition is making it easier for landlords to raise rent prices.

Andrews says the national housing shortage has also played a major role in pushing up rents. 

"The sudden increase in housing demand since the pandemic began in March 2020 exacerbated what was already a national housing shortage that dates back to the financial crisis in 2008, after which annual housing production dropped substantially," he said. 

"While some of the post-pandemic demand might fade as the pandemic becomes endemic, the housing shortage is a long-term issue that will likely continue to push rent up in 2022."

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