Looking for an affordable apartment? Good luck -- and we mean that. Houston's rental prices are increasing at the fastest pace on record, and those sky-high apartment tags are no longer limited to the Inner Loop.
As of July 2014, the average apartment rent in Houston is about $1,249 a month, and recent data shows that apartment rents are increasing at around 4.9 percent every year in the Houston region. The housing market for buyers is also kinda rough -- as in there's not very much to buy -- and residents in Houston are also making a shift from owning to renting.
The data, released by CBRE, a Los Angeles-based real estate brokerage firm with offices in Houston, shows that rents are growing at the fastest pace on record at that 4.9 percent rate. And that growth isn't all in areas one would expect, either.
For example, homes in the ZIP code 77091 -- an area located north of Garden Oaks and Oak Forest -- had the highest expected home appreciation rate in Houston at 9.97 percent. Its anticipated rent increase next year is 4.44 percent, though -- much lower than areas like 77316 in Montgomery County, where the rent is jumping by 8.84 percent.
According to Zillow, there are a number of areas in Houston that will continue to climb in rent. The Inner Loop area, ZIP code 77007, has a projected rent increase of 9.18 percent, and Houstonians with the coveted 77002 ZIP have projected rent increase of 8.71 percent. Rent in the 77055 ZIP code is expected to jump by 8.66 percent, and rent in 77018 should climb by around 8.54 percent.
Developers are rushing to keep up -- nearly every corner in the city is inundated with construction sites -- but the city continues to struggle with a lack of affordable housing. So are there areas of Houston that still offer affordable rent? Yes, and here they are.
Bellaire According to RentJungle.com, the average rental price in Bellaire is about $892 a month. That's a steal, all things considered. Not to mention that Bellaire is much closer to the center of the city than the 'burbs, and well, the 'burbs aren't affordable anymore anyway. Sorry.
Meyerland Rent for under a grand? Sure, why not. Meyerland's rockin' an average rent of $942 a month, which is well under Houston's average rental price, and it's right in the middle of the city. You've got close access to just about anywhere you'd want to be, and you can still afford to go places because your rent isn't causing moths to fly out of your wallet -- yet, anyway.
Spring Branch Don't start doubting us just yet. Spring Branch is becoming pretty hip, y'all. And think of the food! The area is a hotbed of awesome ethnic restaurants, and there's access to decent schools if you're toting the little ones along. Plus you're not that far out from most parts of the city, which is what really matters. A few minutes down I-10 and you're...well, wherever you were headed.
Westchase The Westchase district is pretty stinkin' cheap to rent in -- a one-bedroom will run you about 871 bucks a month -- and it's not that far out of the Loop. Plus you've got that handy Beltway to take you wherever your little heart desires. Gas prices? Who cares! You live in Westchase. You can afford it.
East End The East End is pretty awesome, even without all the renewed interest in the area. But now that people have been paying attention to all of the cool parts of the east side of Houston, it makes that average rent of $1,039 a month seem like even more of a steal.
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