MEMPHIS, Tenn. —According to a recent survey, Memphis saw the 5th highest increase in rent among large US cities over the last year.
Experts said it’s a combination of two things: one, the demand for housing is high, and two, the cost to build new units has skyrocketed.
According to a survey from realtor.com, rent in the Bluff City rose more than 29 percent over the last year. That’s the 5th highest increase among the 50 largest US cities.
Porsha Holloway said her rent may soon go up 30 dollars which is a significant hit to her budget.
“It would affect me a lot because the cost of living nowadays it’s like everything going up like everything going up. So, if the rent were to go up it would make me work even harder so you basically robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Holloway said.
Roshun Austin is a real estate expert with The Works Inc., a community development corporation.
She said rent is rising because of high demand. Plus, a sharp increase in the cost of building materials.
“It costs contractors and developers more to build units,” Austin said. “The supplies are stuck. A lot of it may be pandemic related. We’re not able to get the supplies. We have a trucker shortage.”
Based on the survey, the median monthly rent in Memphis was roughly $1,300 in December. That’s still hundreds of dollars less than most cities, despite the increase.
Austin fears the alarming trend won’t reverse anytime soon.
“And the warehouses. Those are human beings who may have suffered from COVID and so they were frontline workers often and so they contracted the virus and so that meant warehouses shutdown for weeks at a time because of covid outbreaks,” Austin said.
For many, that means finding an alternative form of housing.
“So, people will have to live differently, and they’ve already started to do that,” Austin said. “Many people we’ve found that are moving to extended stay hotels, or they’re bunking with family members.”
If you’re dealing with high rental costs, Austin said you may want to consider buying instead of renting. Particularly because, a home you own, and it can become a valuable asset.