Houston rent prices are going up

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CAMBRIDGE, MA – Looking for a rental? With these prices, a bench in a park might not be a bad idea.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University tells us what we already know: rent prices are going up, and the availability of apartments, especially cheaper ones, hasn’t kept up with demand.

“A few years ago we know the economy suffered a little set back with mortgages and foreclosures and so therefore now the demand for leasing is just up,” explained Houston real estate broker Pauline Clement.

It’s a seller’s market, stupid! Nowadays if you wanna buy a house, you’re setting yourself up for a bidding war. And because wanna-be-owners can’t afford to buy, they rent – hence the prices.

“We’re having an awesome amount of relocation coming down here in Houston, Texas,” said Katherine Boddeker, an agent at CIRCA Real Estate, “so there’s no inventory; therefore it’s driving the prices up on the rental market.”

The number of renter households has soared in the last few years, from 31% of the population in 2004, to 35% in 2012, bringing the total number to 43 million by early 2013.  Of those, 11.3 million spend more than half their income on housing.  So who’s suffering the most from this trend?  The poor, of course.

Yes, the real estate bubble is back, and we might be heading towards the same economic iceberg, as if the 2007-2009 financial meltdown never happened. So if your dinner guests seem to want to stay for a permanent sleepover, at least you know why.

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