Dallas, TX – The rising rent across the country is a real thing in Texas too and students are among the most affected groups of the increased rent prices.
According to latest reports, many University of North Texas students are facing financial difficulties since the prices of the housing went up compared to last year and two years ago.
The problem is even bigger for students coming from low-income families that struggle to find proper accommodation at a decent price. But it’s not only the housing, students this year will have to spend more on groceries too.
So, what happens when those students then have to compete with an influx of competitors in the housing market? That’s the conundrum the pandemic has created.
“The market is hot right now. We’re seeing double-digit gains year over year,” said Marc Moffitt, an adjunct professor of real estate at The University of North Texas.
He said home buying has gone wild in the past year thanks to the federal reserve lowering interest rates to near nothing. People have snatched up all the inventory so supply is extremely limited, forcing home prices to go up by up to $50,000 or more over asking price.
Because many of those buyers are turning those properties into rentals – which they paid more for – the rent for those homes is also increasing.
That pressure – coupled with the pandemic’s general strain on the economy – is also forcing apartment rentals to skyrocket.
Also, what makes Texas – and North Texas unique – is population growth.
“Texas has got 1,000 or 1,500 people a day moving to [the state]. It’s the land of opportunity,” Moffitt said. “Now that you have this shift in demand, what’s happening is now those college students are not just going to be competing amongst themselves for housing – they’re also having to compete among permanent residents there for housing.”
And it’s not just happening in college towns like Denton, it’s in urban areas like Dallas-Fort Worth, which are hot zones for new jobs and population growth.
Students like Andres Andujar and his friends around UT Dallas say it’s become harder to find available multiple-bedroom apartments.
“It’s really kind of the downside of being in a really strong industrial in jobs area. It’s because there’s many professionals that live right next to campus. As students, we’re competing with people who have those well-paying jobs,” he said.
Their rent is also going up by hundreds of dollars.
“I know a girl, she’s a recent graduate. She saw a $500 a month increase on her lease. She was shocked and I think she’s considering breaking early because it’s just so much money,” he said.
The further students move away to find better options, the more they have to pay in fuel costs. So many have limited options when it comes to housing.
“Definitely rent is one of my biggest concerns. I am living with a roommate this upcoming semester just because of rent. My current rent is getting a huge bump, it’s about $160 bump per month and that’s huge,” said Bel Khuu, a graduate student at UT Dallas.
So what can students do?
Getting a roommate, looking toward financial aid from school, picking up extra work, or being mindful of what you’re spending money on are ways students can find relief.
Still, Moffitt believes rent prices will continue to increase somewhere between 6 to 8 percent over the next year or so.
It’s all being driven by demand and more people moving to the region, which he says doesn’t seem like it’s going to end anytime soon.