For those who have been looking for apartments in the last year, the statistic shouldn’t come as a surprise. Earlier this month, Rent.com published a report that listed Greensboro as the top city in the country with the biggest increase in rent for one-bedroom apartments over the last year. The study looked at the 100 largest cities in the country based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
According to the report, Greensboro topped the list with a 74.2 percent increase for one-bedroom apartment rent. One other North Carolina city — Raleigh — made the top ten, coming in fifth with a 42.1 percent increase.
Greensboro also made the top 10 when it comes to rent increases for two-bedroom apartments. This time, the city came in ninth with a 43.1 percent increase compared to Raleigh, which placed sixth with a 44.8 percent increase.
Only three cities in the top 10 have experienced year-over-year price increases in both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments: Greensboro, Raleigh and Little Rock, AR.
Forrest Hinton, who has been looking for a one-bedroom apartment since last year says the prices have been discouraging.
“It’s almost as if Greensboro only wants the working class within the city limits to work, then disappear,” he said.
During his searches, he’s found apartments that have cost as much as $1,200 for a one-bedroom. The cheapest he’s found is about $800.
“Prices have gone up more since I started looking,” he said. “Depending on the area, the prices are absolutely ridiculous, especially for a newly built apartment.”
The report notes that North Carolina as a whole saw broad increases over the last month for rent. Nationwide, rent prices have gone up since July. Overall, one-bedrooms saw an increase of about 4 percent or close to $70. Two-bedrooms went up by about 2.8 percent or $60.
When it comes to changes over the last year, North Carolina as a whole has seen a 58 percent increase with an average rent of $936 in 2021 rocketing up to $1,474 this year.
With the added effects of inflation which has increased the cost of goods as well, lower-income earners are having a tougher time paying for rent, the report states.
“Nearly 60 percent of wage earners cannot afford a modest two-bedroom rental home working one full-time job,” the report said. “Eleven of the 25 largest occupations in the U.S. pay a lower median hourly wage than the wage a full-time worker needs to earn to afford a modest one- or two-bedroom apartment at the national average fair market rent.”
In an article by the News & Observer, Josie Williams, the executive director of the Greensboro Housing Coalition said that the organization has seen an increase in homelessness and those at risk of homelessness in the last year.
“We’re in the midst of a considerable shortage of decent, safe and affordable housing. If you leave your unit to find something you can afford, you’re going to be in an unsafe area with subpar housing,” she said. “The housing market is beyond the reach of the average person.”
A quick look on Zillow for apartments shows one-bedroom apartments in Greensboro priced anywhere from $700/month to $1,400. The average rent price for the city, according to Rent.com’s report is $1,289.
Find the full report here.
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