Dear Mr. Fed Chair Powell Sir, Rents Are Blowing Out and People are Hurting

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

In January, the median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments increased by 10% or more in 56 of the 100 largest cities in the US, compared to a year earlier. In 34 of the 100 largest cities, one-bedroom rents spiked by 15% or more. In 20 of those cities, rents spiked by 20% or more, and in 11 of them, rents spiked by 25% or more. Many of the cities with the largest year-over-year rent spikes are medium-size cities with more modest incomes.

At the top is Fresno, CA, where the median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments in January skyrocketed by 28% in 12 months, and by 41% in two years, from $1,000 in January 2020 to $1,410 in January 2022, according to data from Zumper’s National Rent Report. Rent increases like this are nuts:

This is a serious freaking problem, Mr. Chair Powell Sir. These renters are not wealthy people who made millions or billions of dollars thanks to your radical monetary policies. These are the working stiffs that now get to pay for your policies that made the already wealthy far wealthier.

In the US overall, across the 100 largest markets, the median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments jumped by 12% year-over-year, according to Zumper’s National Index. The index for two-bedroom rents jumped by 14%.

“Asking rents” are advertised rents for apartments listed at various rental listing services, including Multiple Listing Service. They show the current pricing of the market, like a price tag. They don’t include rents that tenants have been paying for months or years. Zumper’s data is limited to apartments in multifamily buildings and do not include single-family houses for rent. “Median” means that half of the apartments are listed at higher rents, and half are listed at lower rents.

Can you even imagine a 20% or 25% increase in rent, Mr. Chair Powell Sir, when your pay goes up a glorious 6%, what that would require of your belt-tightening strategies?

These are the 34 cities, of the largest 100 cities, where the median asking rent for 1-BR apartments spiked by 15% to 28% year-over-year. Mr. Chairman Sir, these are massive crushing rent increases that are now hitting a lot of people who are struggling to pay for them. If your pay goes up 6% and your rent goes up 25%, Mr. Chairman Sir, you’re screwed, Sir. But that’s what is happening now.

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Continue reading this article at  Wolf Street.

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