For many renters, it seems the monthly bill keeps taking a bigger and bigger bite out of the bank -- and that's because it is. In fact, some Minnesotans are seeing the biggest jump in more than a decade.
In the last year, housing experts in the Twin Cities say the rising rent prices made their highest jump in 12 years. That is making it much more difficult for some to find, and keep, a roof over their heads even as apartment buildings continue to go up in the metro.
With all the new construction, many people would expect the average cost of rent to be on the way down. Instead, it looks like the Minne-Apple isn't so different from the Big Apple in one important way -- housing always comes at a premium.
The foreclosure crisis created a flood of new renters, which allowed landlords to be pickier and raise their rates. Although there has been a building boom, most are luxury apartments and that has left renters who are looking for affordable housing coming up short.
Rent in the Twin Cities currently averages $1,000, an increase of more than $100 in the last 10 years. Overall, rent is up 6 percent, but incomes are down 17 percent and more than half of renters already spend more than 30 percent of their pay on housing alone.
The Minnesota Housing Partnership would like to see the cities invest in more affordable housing units so that both high- and low-income renters can find a place to call home -- and they also want to ensure that the affordable housing that already exists is kept up.
Vacancy rates are also a contributing factor to the rising cost. A decade ago, the rate was between 12 and 15 percent. Now, the vacancy rate in the Twin Cities is closer to 2 percent.