SAN ANTONIO — Rent is not any cheaper, but renters may have already seen peak prices.
“I don’t think we’ve really come back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Jon Leckie, a researcher at Rent.com. “I think we’ve come back to normal growth levels that we saw before the pandemic. We’ve gotten back to normal growth trends, but that’s on top of the extreme growth we saw before. I think it’s unlikely that we’re going to return to pre-pandemic prices.”
Rent grew about 18% on average in the last two years according to Rent.com. Now, rent is rising only about 2%.
“They’re (rent renewal rates) not crazy like they were before,” said Lisa Pegues, the manager for Perch Locating, formally known as Apartments Now, a free apartment-finding service. “Where they were getting the $200, $300 renewal rates, I think everything is starting to stabilize. If they’re getting ready with the renewal rate, that’s anywhere from $50 to $100 renewal rate.”
Finding a rental can still be tricky. San Antonio has a 90% occupancy rate, but more new rentals are now becoming available more quickly.
“There are over 7,000 units this year that are projected to be leased,” Pegues said.
Those looking to rent, could see the price spike a bit soon.
“We are going into the summer,” Pegues said. “It’s the busiest time for everyone moving. So prices will go up.”
A one-bedroom apartment in San Antonio will cost you $1,290 on average. Houston is almost the same at $1,285. You will pay $1,475 in Dallas and $1,544 in Austin. Nationally, the average is $1,688. Affordability is one of the main reasons people are moving to San Antonio.
“Some people think it’s way cheaper and people from Austin will live here because it’s so much cheaper than Austin,” Pegues said. “It’s an easy commute from them to go back and forth.”
There are ways to save.
Negotiate your lease renewal rate at your current rental.
“Tenants have a little bit more leverage now than they did,” Leckie said. “Landlords are going to be much more willing to work with a tenant that they know that’s been a good tenant than they are to take a risk on a new tenant.”
Look for move-in specials if you need a new apartment. Yet, decide quickly because apartments are filling up before they are ready for renters.
If you know you need move within the next 75 days, you to start looking now because everything is starting to pre-lease,” Pegues said. “We are leasing out to July and August. We’re pre-leasing the buildings as fast as they have been released to the property.”
Or wait until winter to move, if you can. Prices will likely drop some then.
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