Thursday, September 23, 2021 6:04 am

Need for rental housing explodes, but Valley cities resist

By Kyle Backer | AZ Big Media

A place to live in Greater Phoenix is becoming harder to attain. While homeowners have enjoyed a dramatic increase in the value of their investments, those in the rental market have seen a larger percentage of their paycheck eaten up by rising rental housing costs. A market report by online real estate company Zillow found that rents rose 17.7% year-over-year in the Phoenix area as of May 2021. Another Zillow study forecasts that by the fourth quarter of this year, typical renters in Greater Phoenix will become housing burdened, meaning that more than 30% of their income will go toward keeping a roof over their heads. As a result, the Phoenix metro will drop from the 29th to 38th most affordable metro in the U.S.

“It’s Economics 101: the law of supply and demand,” says Courtney LeVinus, president and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association. “When the supply of something is low but demand is high, the price goes up in response. Rent works the same way. When we have a robust supply of rental housing in the Valley, rental costs tend to remain steady, but when we have a shortage of rental units — and thousands of people moving to Greater Phoenix every month — then rent increases.”

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