Roanoke rent prices rise almost 15%

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 10:18 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Experts say rent prices across the nation are rising rapidly, and the City of Roanoke is rising faster than the national average.

The pandemic has certainly played a part in the current competitive housing market. ‘

Igor Popov, Chief Economist for Apartment List, says the normal, pre-pandemic rent increase year over year was about 4%.

Apartment List’s latest rent report for Roanoke and data show an almost 15% increase in rents year-over-year, outpacing the national rates and the rent growth in the rest of Virginia.

Popov says this is due to a number of factors that have all led to demand outstripping supply in the market.

During the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, many millennials and young professionals moved back in with their parents, and significant others moved in with each other.

Over a year later, Popov says the market is de-coupling, with people now financially stable enough to move back out on their own.

The high prices of real estate are pushing potential buyers back to the rental market instead.

Additionally, the popularity of remote work has renters with higher incomes moving to smaller metros where they can get more bang for their buck. Places that still offer natural beauty more inland. Places like Roanoke.

Meanwhile, the competition has become steeper for existing renters with lower incomes.

Experts say the demand for apartments tends to be seasonal, and rental growth may cool during the winter months, but they do not have their fingers crossed for rent costs to fall back to pre-pandemic prices anytime soon.

Popov says other cities with large jumps included Virginia Beach, as well as Spokane Washington.

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