LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — High prices are concerning many renters who have seen their bills go up over the past few years.
“When we first moved here, it was pretty cheap,” Nicole Jayne shared with 8 News Now.
She is a single mom, renting a two-bedroom apartment. Her rent has gone up nearly $200 over the last three years.
“That did put quite a bit of strain on me, these last few months especially,” Jayne said.
She is not alone.
The Nevada State Apartment Association (NVSAA) says rent increases have doubled since the beginning of the year. For workers like Jayne, who have had to take furloughed days and pay cuts during the pandemic, this is a frustrating situation.
“That was an added stressor for me personally because, you know, I’ve got a child,” she said. “I’m making less money than I used to. Plus, my rent and other bills went up.”
So, why are prices going up?
Local property manager Steve Hawks says one reason is extremely high demand and low supply. Apartment availability is going down, with the vacancy at only 4.3%.
“That’s why we’re seeing prices go above and beyond what locals can afford,” Hawks explained. “Most locals cannot afford Las Vegas anymore.”
He says apartments are capitalizing on those moving from out of state, who are still saving money with the local rent increases.
“They don’t care about $300 or $400; they just made half a million on their house in California,” Hawks said. “They don’t care. They just want a place to live and be comfortable.”
The NVSAA says there are nearly 4,000 apartment units under construction in Las Vegas. Even with more supply on the way, though, Jayne says the prices are not realistic for families.
“Try to find someplace else, you know, another area because it’s becoming unaffordable here,” she told us.
To give you an idea of the number of people moving here, Clark County’s population has grown by 2% in the past year, which is about 40,000. The NVSAA says that makes it one of the 10 fastest-growing metro areas.