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Rent increases are slowing, and Jacksonville is better off than most

Rent.JPG
Paul Sakuma
/
AP
A for-rent sign in Palo Alto, California.

Some good news for renters: A year of staggering rent increases is losing steam.

Rent in the Jacksonville area increased 0.45% from June to July, to $1,784, a new study shows.

The average rent was still more than 13% higher than normal, but it was better than every other metro area in Florida, according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University, the University of Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast University.

Jacksonville's average rent increased 13.63% in a year, the study said. That compared with a 25.22% increase in Fort Myers and 24.61% in South Florida, the biggest increases among 100 metro areas nationwide. Eight of the 10 fastest-rising rents were in Florida, but Jacksonville ranked 27th nationwide.

The biggest causes of rising rents are people moving to Sun Belt states and a shortage of rental units, Bennie Waller of the University of Alabama said in a news release. Rents probably will not return to normal until more rental properties are built, he said.

Ken H. Johnson, an economist in FAU's College of Business, put the outlook bluntly: “Consumers across the country look to be in for a prolonged period of unaffordable rental prices,” he said.

Traditionally, rents have increased only 3% to 5% a year, which indicates how far off recent increases have been, the study said.

Redfin, an online real estate marketplace, said rents are slowing because fewer people are looking for rentals as they get pinched by inflation.

The median rent nationally rose 14% in June compared with the year before — the smallest annual increase since October, Redfin said in its latest report.

Redfin listed Jacksonville's median rent as $1,675, 10.6% higher than the year before. But rent here is a bargain compared with the rest of the country, Redfin's data shows.

The median rent nationally stands at $2,016. Jacksonville's median rent is the ninth-lowest of 50 metro areas.

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 rroguski@wjct.org or on Twitter, @rroguski.