An economic crunch like the one we're having can usually bring a glimmer of good news -- like, maybe, rents go down for a lot of people.
And, in fact, rents have gone down for a lot of people, according to the latest national report by a tracking company called RealFacts.
They just haven't gone down in Houston.
Houston and San Antonio were the rare cities where rents actually went up over last year, the report says. In cities like Dallas, Austin, LA, Miami and San Francisco, rents went down. (Down by 8.2 percent in San Francisco.)
In Houston, they're up by 1.5 percent.
The average "asking rent" here is $791 a month; in Texas only Austin is higher, at $844.
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(You want cheap? Go to Longview and pay $618.)
Across the nation, rents are down and vacancies are up.
RealFacts is succinct in explaining why: "Many renters have been forced out of high markets due to lack of employment opportunities or sufficient income."
Yeah, that "lack of sufficient income" will kill you every time.