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Rents rising faster here than most places in U.S.

Rental increases are outpacing the rising cost of a mortgage.
Rogelio V. Solis
Rents are rising faster than the cost of a mortgage.

Rents are rising faster in Jacksonville than in most metro areas of the country, according to a report released Monday.

Average monthly rents increased 21% nationwide over the past year but 33% in the Jacksonville area, the Redfin real estate service reported. Jacksonville's increase was the eighth-highest of 50 metro areas, Redfin said.

Five of the 10 fast-rising rents were in Florida. Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach filled the top three spots with 35% increases. Tampa was No. 10 at 28%.

Jacksonville remained far more affordable than other parts of the state, however. The average rent here totals $1,627 compared with $2,983 in South Florida, for example.

The only metro areas with declining rent were Kansas City and St. Louis, Redfin said.

The conclusions are based on home sales data and advertised rents in the 50 largest metro areas for November. The data covers all sizes of apartments.

The national median mortgage payment for homebuyers climbed at about the same annual rate as rents, but it rose just 1% from October to November, Redfin said, indicating that the red-hot sales market could be cooling.

"First inflation came for the for-sale market, and now it is coming for the rental market," Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a news release. Many people have been priced out of homebuying and are looking to rent instead, but that demand is pushing up rents, he said.

"Anyone who bought a home before this year can pat themselves on the back because their mortgage payments are fixed, meaning their biggest recurring expense is immune to inflation," Fairweather said.
"If you are looking to buy or rent now, there's nowhere to hide from inflation when it comes to housing costs."

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.