As the pandemic slowly comes to an end, the rental market continues to grow in Clark County, Washington.
The Columbian reports that the huge construction boom, increase in population, and lack of inventory is to blame.
Even with the shortage of materials and increase in costs largely due to the pandemic, additional units are continually being added to the market, but at higher rents. Approximately 1,000 units are in development or in planning stages. As land prices increase, so do rents. Of these units, very few are expected to be “affordable.”
"Michael Wilkerson, partner and director of analytics at ECONorthwest, studies housing markets in Vancouver, where he lives. He said the city has drastically changed in the last five to seven years, a trend that will likely continue.
“’There’s a good and a bad side to high rents. It allows construction to happen,” he said. 'Rent being high enough to support construction has fueled a lot of development. If rent hadn’t increased, we wouldn’t see new construction.'”
According to the Columbian and CoStar, a commercial real estate information company, there are currently 31,600 apartment units in Vancouver, Washington with average rent for a two-bedroom at $1,343. Ten years ago, the average rent was $684.
Clark County is also seeing a steady increase in the number of tenants moving from out of state, primarily California and Oregon. In comparison to housing prices in California, rents are significantly lower and remote workers are willing and able to pay the growing prices.
Vancouver has also experienced a significant population increase since the pandemic began, with 13,600 people moving to the area. This has created additional demand for housing and has aided in driving up rents.
“It’s not a matter of if you can stop increasing rent, but when and how to slow it down. I expect rent to slow its increase,” Wilkerson said.
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Read the full article from The Columbian here:
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