If it feels like it’s becoming more and more expensive to rent an apartment in Tampa Bay, it’s because it is. And, your rent is literally increasing at a faster rate than most major metros in the country.
According to a new report from online rental site Apartment List, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Tampa Bay is now $1,287, which is significantly more than the national average of $1,191.
This jump in local rental rates represents a 2.3% spike over the past year, placing Tampa Bay's rental increase as the 10th fastest growth rate among the 100 largest cities in the country, says the study.
Though Tampa Bay rental prices stayed relatively flat in November, it’s worth noting that this jump in rates isn’t exclusive to just the last 12 months, it’s been happening for nearly 5 years. According to the same study, rental rates in Tampa have grown by 24% since 2014, which outpaces the national average of 11.3%.
Within the Tampa Bay area, Largo has witnessed the fastest rent growth, with an increase of 4.4% over the past year, says the study. On the high-end, Valrico currently has the most expensive rents in the Tampa metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,594, and low rent growth of 0.7%.
Surprisingly, St. Petersburg actually has the least expensive rents in the Tampa metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,200, and a 1.4% rate increase year-over-year.
Of course, all of this problematic when you combine the fact that Tampa Bay has a major shortage of affordable housing, and a dysfunctional system that barely serves the many renters that actually need it.
“Nearly a third of Tampa Bay renters put more than 40 percent of their gross income toward rent, more than fulfilling the federal definition of ‘cost-burdened,’” said a recent editorial from the Tampa Bay Times, which also pointed out that the number of available units in Florida renting below $1,000 a month fell from 2000 to 2017.