Milwaukee metro sees 9.3% increase in average rent

Amid a historic bout of inflation over the past year, the cost of housing – and especially rent – has been one of the most significant pressures on home finance. In many markets, renters see increases of 20% or more when they sign new leases, and with the nationwide rental vacancy rate at just 5.6%, renters have few alternatives to find more affordable options.

The current state of the rental market is a product of both supply and demand, with problems accumulating over time and focusing on-
since the epidemic began.

On the supply side, the United States has an estimated shortage of 4 million housing units.

Zoning and density restrictions have made it difficult to add housing stock in many locations, both for rentals and in the real estate market.

With real estate prices soaring, 70% of the rental market growth since 2009 has come from high-income earners who might otherwise have bought a home.

As more high-income earners enter or remain in the rental market, builders and developers are incentivized to provide more luxury units, which means less new inventory to meet the needs of low and middle income earners.

The COVID-era economy has exacerbated all of these issues.

The sharp rise in home prices and rising interest rates now put home ownership out of the reach of many potential buyers, keeping more people in the rental market. Builders and developers are also struggling to keep up with the increasing demand while managing costs.

Ongoing supply chain challenges have made sourcing building materials time-consuming and expensive, while a tight job market has left hundreds of thousands of construction jobs vacant.

Last year saw a huge increase in rents

Prices are a result of these factors, with a 17% annual increase in rental costs from February 2021 to February 2022, according to data from Zillow. By comparison, the typical annual increase has held steady between 3% and 5% for most of the past decade.

The recent increases stand in stark contrast to the first year of the pandemic, when increases fell below 1% as landlords and renters weathered the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, and federal and state governments implemented rent assistance

Programs and stop evictions to stabilize the market.

No segment of the rental market has been spared the cost of rising rents, from couples or couples in a studio or one-bedroom unit to families renting a three- or four-bedroom home.

According to US Department of Housing and Urban Development data, units of all sizes experienced price increases of more than 10% for the average unit between 2019 and 2022.

The effect of higher rental prices differed somewhat by geographic region. Several states in the southern and central US have seen lower levels of increase, and one state – Alaska – has seen a 3% drop in rental costs since 2019.

All locations with the largest increase in rents were found in the western United States, led by Nevada (26.0%), Idaho (24.1%), and Utah (22.2%). These states have experienced high population growth in recent years, fueled in part by workers who have left higher-cost states like California and Washington in search of more affordable markets—but have increased costs in their new locations in the process.

A similar pattern emerges at the local level. The metros that have seen the fastest increases in rental costs are “second tier cities” like Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City that have thrived with incoming residents looking for more affordable locations.

The data used in this analysis is from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Census Bureau. To determine which locations have increased rents the most, researchers at Stessa calculated the percentage change in average rent from 2019 to 2022. Break even, the location with a higher overall average rent change from 2019 to 2022 ranked Top .

The analysis found that the median rent in the Milwaukee metro area is now $1,080, compared to $988 in 2019 — an increase of 9.3%. Here is a summary of the Milwaukee-Waukesha, Wisconsin metro area data:

Percentage change in average rent (2019-2022): +9.3%
Total change in median rent (2019-2022): + $92, median rent (2022): $1,080
Average rent (2019): $988
For reference, here are the stats f
or the entire United States:

Percentage change in average rent
(2019-2022): +12.5%
Total change in average rent (2019-2022): + $161
Average rent (2022): $1,445
Average rent (2019): $1,284
For more information, detailed methodology and complete results,

You can find the original report on the Stessa website

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