Since the start of the 21st century, the cost of rent has skyrocketed across America. Every state in the nation has seen a spike in the cost of apartments and other residential rentals. Places like Washington D.C., California, and Hawaii have seen rent prices more than double over the past two decades. While the reasons for rent hikes may vary by locality, one of the major factors for higher costs is the overall decline in homeownership, which hit a peak of 66% in 2000. That, in turn, has led to more Americans turning to rentals, ultimately pushing up the amount landlords can charge. The problem is exacerbated by a shortage of construction workers, which makes it difficult for developers to boost the supply of available housing. The pandemic is throwing the rental market for a loop, though. On the one hand, rents in some notoriously expensive cities, like New York and San Francisco, have actually fallen this year—the result of white-collar workers with stable jobs taking advantage of new work-from-home policies and relocating to less pricey areas of the country, freeing up apartments in major cities. But for many people, making rent has only gotten more challenging in 2020. At least 22 million people have lost their jobs during the coronavirus public health crisis, leaving many scrambling to pay their bills. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as many states, have implemented moratoriums on evicting tenants from their apartments through the end of the year, experts warn that an eviction crisis is on the horizon for around 40 million people. To understand how the rental housing market has gotten to this point, Stacker compiled a list of states with the fastest-growing rent using 2000 and 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The 50 states and Washington D.C. are ranked by the percentage increase of their median rental prices from 2000 to 2019. The list also includes the percentage increase of the median household income in the same time frame. Read on to see how rent hikes have varied in every state and the country’s capital.
(Joni Sweet, Stacker)