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Average Rents Top $2,000 for the First Time in U.S. History

If you feel like your rent just went way up, you’re not alone. Across America, the median monthly asking rent surpassed $2,000 for the first time in May, rising 15% from last year’s median price.

A new report from Redfin found that metropolitan areas across the country are experiencing major increases, up to 30 percent or more.

“Housing is getting less affordable for everyone at every level,” Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist for Redfin, told NPR. “Rents are going up just as fast as home prices are.”

Rents grew by 48 percent year-over-year in Austin, Texas, the largest increase on record in any metro area. Much of the increase is due to an increased demand in rentals as would-be home-owners are waiting longer to start a mortgage.

“More people are opting to live alone, and rising mortgage-interest rates are forcing would-be homebuyers to keep renting,” said Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr. “These are among the demand-side pressures keeping rents sky-high. While renting has become more expensive, it is now more attractive than buying for many Americans this year as mortgage payments have surpassed rents on many homes.”

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While rents and housing costs are rapidly increasing, many Americans are not bringing in enough income to keep up with their new cost of living. A report last week found that one-third of Americans who make at least $250,000 are living paycheck to paycheck, as most of their income goes toward housing. Economists have even determined that it was easier to buy a house during the Great Depression than this current era. And it appears as if this rising trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

“Although we expect rent-price growth to continue to slow in the coming months, it will likely remain high, causing ongoing affordability issues for renters,” Marr explained.

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