Cincinnati's Rent Increases Are Among the Highest in the Nation for 2021

You're not imagining it. Local rents have been rising since the COVID-19 pandemic began — and quickly.

click to enlarge How long can Cincinnatians afford to pay rising rents? - PHOTO: BRANDON GRIGGS, UNSPLASH
Photo: Brandon Griggs, Unsplash
How long can Cincinnatians afford to pay rising rents?

What, you thought panicked pandemic-era rents would last forever?

Many landlords all over the country lowered their rental rates during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic to cut down on vacancies and lure new annual lessees. But those days are over, it seems — particularly in Cincinnati.

A report from Realtor.com shows that Cincinnati rents had big year-to-year increases from May 2020 to May 2021, making it the metro with the ninth-highest increase in the nation. The overall median rent here is $1,149, an 11.9% increase over last year.

Local rents increased for studios, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments, the report says. Studios in Greater Cincinnati went up 2.1% over the last year, single bedrooms increased by 7.3%, and doubles rose a whopping 12.7%.

Realtor.com's report says that median rent increased over the last year in 43 of the 50 largest metro areas. The national median currently sits at $1,527 per month, a 5.5% increase since May 2020.

What's the reason for the big jumps? Realtor.com says this:

Rising rents are likely the result of multiple factors. As home prices hit record highs and affordability becomes an issue for potential homebuyers, the appetite for rentals may rise as would-be buyers opt for renting. Further, increasing vaccination rates may be boosting confidence in the safety of moving, which drives up demand, and prices.

In addition, rents in many metros soon may become impossible to pay all around the country, outpacing inflation:

In the U.S. and in 38 of the largest 50 markets–76%–May 2021 rents reached the highest level in the last 27 months. In these markets, rents were climbing at an average pace of 9.1% year over year, nearly double the 5% rate of overall inflation.

On average, Cincinnati's rental rates are still lower than those in many other cities, which is one reason why earlier this year, financial resources company SmartAsset had declared Cincinnati the best city for college graduates. In fact, many cities within the Midwest are lauded because low costs of living helps salaries stretch a bit further. 

But with state rental moratoriums ending and pandemic assistance drying up, Cincinnati may not have that designation for much longer.

For its report, Realtor.com looked at rental data for apartment communities as well as private rentals in the country's 50 largest metropolitan regions.

See Realtor.com's full report on cities with the fastest-growing rents.

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