Noteworthy rent increases are becoming the norm in cities around the United States, and Tacoma is no exception.
A vast majority of cities — 210 of 250 — surveyed by apartment search website RentCafe saw annual rent growth last month, with Tacoma coming in fourth on the site’s list of cities with the fastest growing rents. Tacoma saw a 10.6 percent increase year-over-year; only three California cities (Lancaster, Stockton and Modesto) topped it on the list.
The City of Destiny still ranks among the cities with the lowest rents among those the site surveyed in Washington. Among such cities, Spokane had the lowest rent in March ($860), followed by Tacoma ($1,110), Vancouver ($1,178), Everett ($1,296), Kent ($1,324), Renton ($1,517), Seattle ($1,908) and Bellevue ($2,091).
Tacoma, in fact, saw a small month-over-month decrease, with March rents going down 2 percent compared to February. Compare that to the rest of the United States, where average rent increased by $6 to $1,312.
Still, Tacoma’s fourth place showing on the list of cities with fastest climbing rents is ominous for South Sound renters, and it’s not alone among South Sound communities near the top. Kent, at 8.0 percent rent growth year over year, also makes an appearance at 18th on the list — the only Washington cities in the top 20.
Most of the rest of the top 20 are mid-size towns and suburbs; only Sacramento (5th), Salt Lake City (13th) and Buffalo (17th) are larger cities.
“Rising rents in some of these seeming smaller towns might come as a surprise for many, but given recent rising interest rates and an ever-tightening housing supply, the barrier to homeownership is pretty high at the moment”, according to Doug Ressler, senior analyst at real estate site Yardi Matrix. “Many potential buyers are being forced into renting as a more affordable alternative – and it’s driving prices up in the process, even in some of the nation’s smaller, more seemingly affordable towns.”