As it did for home prices, short supply has lit a fire under rents. A report from brokerage HouseCanary says eviction moratoriums are partially to blame for the price increases.
Throughout 2020 and much of 2021, national and local eviction protections kept renters in their homes and made some landlords reluctant to list vacancies for fear a new tenant might move in and stop paying.
As protections have expired — the Supreme Court tossed President Joe Biden’s ban in August — HouseCanary argues landlords are still “hesitant to open new listings,” thereby limiting the pool of available units and driving up prices.
Cities in Louisiana and Florida have seen the sharpest drop in vacancies. Baton Rouge, for example, reported a 78 percent decrease in properties available for rent since the start of the pandemic.
In Fort Myers, Florida, available units shrunk by over 50 percent in the same period, while median rents in the area doubled.
Driving those shifts is the lingering impact of pandemic exoduses. As remote workers sought out warmer locals, inventories withered and prices ballooned.
Now as return-to-office plans have pulled tenants back to urban living, coastal cities like New York are experiencing similar inventory shortages, inflamed by the continued warehousing of apartments.
In April, UrbanDigs found landlords were keeping over 50 percent of New York’s rental stock off the market, YieldPro reported.
Another puppet master behind rising rents is the hot housing market. An incredibly tight market for homes has pushed would-be buyers into the rental market, further straining supply.
HouseCanary does expect supply to normalize over the next few months, taking pressure off rents. But tenants shouldn’t expect any near-term discounts.