RICHMOND, Va. -- People looking to move to Richmond and the surrounding counties might be in for a shock when they see the rent. Especially if they checked rent prices before the pandemic.
Even though new apartments are opening around the region, those looking to move say affordable housing remains hard to find.
“It’s getting really, really, really competitive," Jackson Allen, who would like to move into downtown Richmond, said. “We do want to move, but I don't even know if we could find a place at our current price point that would be comparable.”
Data from commercial real estate company CoStar showed the average rent in the Richmond area was $1,415 a month in 2022.
That price is 11.5% more than in 2021 and 22% more than in 2020.
What is going on?
“It’s supply and demand," Patrick McCloud with the Virginia Apartment Management Association said. "The housing world is just different than it was two years ago.”
He cited some changes were the result of a COVID-19 ripple effect. Things like:
- Delayed construction projects
- People staying in their homes longer
- Federal relief efforts
“We had a rental assistance program that paid 18 months' worth of rent. What we're seeing, is what many people predicted, is that would artificially inflate housing prices because you don't have the normal vacancy cycles," McCloud said.
While rent in cities typically outpaces rent in suburbs, in Central Virginia rent increases in parts of Henrico and Hanover counties have been more significant than those in Richmond.
“We need to get more housing out there," McCloud offered as a possible solution to rent increases. "Government needs to think about policies that actually lead to the development of housing."
McCloud said he expected the real estate market to stabilize later this summer. He also suggested renters have conversations with apartment managers to negotiate rent renewal rates at their current home.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.