Valley residents being impacted by rising rent prices

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The cost of rising rent is impacting many Valley residents like Sandi Morales.

"Unfortunately, the rent, it grew exponentially over two years that it made us basically downsize our apartment," she said. "So now, we're in a one-bedroom instead of a three-bedroom, making sacrifices just so we can save some money to eventually buy a house."

According to Apartment List, Fresno rents are up 1.1 percent from last month and 11 percent year over year, which is the second-fastest growth rate among the 100 largest cities in the country. Number one is Boise, Idaho, and rents are up by 13.5 percent.

"The fact that rent is growing so quickly at a time when a lot of the country has seen rents pretty flat or declining is definitely a sign of decreasing affordability in the area," says Chris Salviati, Apartment List Housing Economist.

The average median price for a one-bedroom is $989 and $1231 for a two-bedroom.

We spoke with the California Apartment Association.

Lawmakers passed AB 1482, a rent cap bill that freezes existing rents for buildings older than 15 years at CPI plus 5 percent.

So they question an 11 percent increase in rent and believe there's been a number of new higher-end apartments.

"What we've seen is at the lower end of the market, there's been more stability," says Greg Terzakis. "Then at the higher end of the market or non-affordable housing and higher rent housing, you've seen people move and move in again from the Bay Area that are making good money and can afford to pay high market rate."

Terzakis says landlords are urged to work with tenants and with the eviction moratorium during this pandemic when people are not able to pay.

While Terzakis does not believe these numbers tell the full story, he also believes there's a housing shortage and more affordable housing is needed.

Residents we spoke with say they're eager to save up for a home of their own and pay a fixed monthly rate.

Housing economists we spoke with say they believe rent will continue to go up. However, we'll have to wait and see what impacts to our housing and rental market, once restrictions lift and larger cities open back up.
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