GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you are looking to rent a home or apartment in Grand Rapids, get ready to pay more.
Rent prices are increasing in the city despite the pandemic.
“Hopefully I’m able to find a place that is relatively close to my job that I can afford, but it’s kind of like finding a needle in a haystack,” Becca Rogers, who is looking to move, told News 8.
In four months, Rogers will have to move from a house shared with friends to a place of her own. It may seem like a long time, but she works for a nonprofit and searching for housing in this market while on a budget can be a challenge.
“(Prospective rent is) like $200 to $400 more than I’m paying now and that’s not even including utilities or parking. Those are things that you kind of need to live,” Rogers said.
The numbers show a 2% to 5% increase in monthly rent from 2019 to 2020.
According to the 2020 National Rent Report from Apartment List, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom in Grand Rapids is now around $868. The median cost of a two-bedroom is around $1,110 per month.
News 8 found prices online that are even higher. A quick search found one-bedrooms starting at $1,000 and going up to $2,000 per month.
“Even my friends are talking about releasing and … they are saying that their landlords are increasing their rent, which is baffling to me,” Rogers said.
The jump in rent is happening in small cities across the country, with some seeing more than a 9% increase. Larger cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco are seeing big drops.
Rogers says if she can’t find anything, she’ll have to stay with friends or family until something in her price range pops up on the market.
Experts who watch housing trends say the reason for the rise Is connected to more people working from home, which means they can move to a more affordable city while keeping their big city job.