(NewsNation Now) — It seems like prices for everything have gone up during the pandemic and housing is no exception, with rent prices surging more than 10% across the U.S. in the past year.
The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,300 a month. Rent jumped even higher in many major cities, which is making affordable housing difficult to find.
The three areas seeing the biggest cost increases are the cities of Las Vegas and Memphis and the state of Florida.
Joe Flahie, an ICU nurse, lives in Miami with his wife and two kids, but can no longer afford the rent.
“I have a great job at probably the best-paying hospital in the city of Miami,” Flahie said. “I love my job. I love my hospital. I think it is more of a bigger problem systemically.”
With one call from his landlord, Flahie’s rent went from $1,725 a month to $2,400.
“My landlord said to me, ‘It’s not personal,’” Flahie said. “But I said, ‘When you are dealing with people’s homes, it is personal.’”
Flahie likes his place, but says there is nothing really special about it. It’s not fancy and he says it doesn’t have any amenities such as a pool or a gym.
“It looks like a strong possibility we are going to have to relocate,” Flahie said. “We are going to rent for another year here and re-evaluate. But it will be one of the most painful things ever to me to leave Miami.
What is happening to Flahie is happening to coast to coast.
Here is what the average one bedroom costs in the top five cities with the highest rent prices:
- New York $3,200
- San Francisco $2,800
- Boston $2,700
- San Jose $2,300
- Miami $2,300
Of all the cities, Miami saw one of the biggest average percentage increases for rentals, with a 26% jump year over year.
“A lot of people are starting to have to rent an AirBnB, stay with friends or family in the meantime while they try to find a place to rent,” said Amando Alvarez, a Realtor. “It’s tough. It’s tough to watch.”
Except for people willing to move way out into the suburbs, Realtors say it’s almost impossible to find affordable rentals. Getting a roommate is becoming more popular in some cities. Others have even seen an increase in mobile homes as a cheaper option.
Some people, including Flahie, say they will absorb the increase for the next year and wait to see if the market corrects itself. Other people in cities such as Miami are floating the idea of rent-controlled apartments, a system New York has had for years.