EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — As rent prices continue to climb El Pasoans are in luck because the rent increase here is significantly less than what some people are seeing in other parts of the country.
"We're still really affordable among other cities in Texas,” said Michelle McTague, who sits on the board of directors for the El Paso Apartment Association.
Scott Lynch is the executive director for the EPAA and said El Paso’s average rent is around $950.00 right now.
Lynch adds that nationwide the average rent is $1500.00.
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The EPAA reports the city is considered to have more affordable rent prices than other cities in Texas, even despite the surge.
"Rents have gone up in El Paso about 15% annually, but across the nation, they've gone up higher,” said Lynch.
He says that many renters don’t understand why their rent has increased.
He said a lot of people think it’s landlords deciding to raise the rent.
But that’s not the case.
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"When the property bill goes up for the owner, that's being passed along to the tenant,” said Lynch.
McTague says the increase is inevitable.
"Our owners have been hit with these higher taxes and everything then we have to surcharge our clients. So that's the main reason our rates are going up,” said McTague.
McTague says that there aren't many apartments available right now because of the city's 95% occupancy rate.
McTague adds that if people want to rent, they should start their search 60 days before they want to make their move.
"Basically, a three-bedroom in the west side is impossible to find right now,” said McTague.
The lack of available housing is also a reason rent prices have increased.
Property builders have also been forced to take on an ongoing supply chain crunch.
"We have the construction, but construction has been delayed also with COVID because we've had a lack of supplies,” said McTague.
Lynch believes the market will correct itself it will just take time.
"The rental rate is going to stabilize more. I mean, we haven't seen this type of rent increase in, I don't know decades,” said Lynch.
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