Nothing to buy, nothing to rent:' Some Americans are stuck in housing limbo

When Rebecca DiLorenzo's 14-month landlady announced that he would increase the rent on the East Greenwich, Rhode Island apartment she shares with her fiancé Kyle by $ 300 a month, she began looking for an apartment.
"Our mindset last spring was, 'We're getting married, we have to buy a house,' and for a while we wanted to open houses every weekend, but the market just got crazier and crazier," she said.
After being outbid on four houses - by as much as $ 50,000 - DiLorenzo knew they needed a Plan B. "I don't want to buy a house that we really can't afford," she said.
Priced out on both the sales and rental markets, the newlyweds are now living with the family until things have calmed down.
A "for rent" sign outside an apartment building on June 2, 2021 in San Francisco, California. After rental rates in San Francisco fell during the closure of the pandemic, prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels. (Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
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This scenario is becoming increasingly popular, said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, a real estate information company.
"At first there was nothing to buy and now there was nothing to rent," he said. "The eviction ban has also frozen a lot of inventory that would otherwise have been put on the market."
Availability is limited by the bank, said Jay Parsons, assistant chief economist at RealPage, a leading provider of home rental analysis. "Apartment occupancy is now at its highest level in at least three decades, and it is similar for single-family homes," said Parsons.
"There's a big reshuffle going on and they're all moving at the same time," said Nicole Bachaud, economic data analyst at Zillow. This includes employees moving out of common situations and moving back to the office, “digital nomads” exploring new locations as they now receive more guidance from their employers, and new graduates moving for their first jobs.
The competition is driving up rents in places like Phoenix, Riverside in California, Tampa, South Florida (especially West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, but also Miami), Atlanta, Memphis, as well as Texas, the Carolinas and most other sunbelts and mountain regions , after Parsons.
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"It's crazy," said Jeff Andrews, data journalist for Zumper, a national rental listing platform. “In 'normal' times you see steady growth in any market, but the rent increases that are happening now - and their intensity and speed - are unprecedented. We have never seen that in the USA. "
In some markets, prices are increasing daily. Nowhere is this more evident than in markets that have been hardest hit and are now recovering quickly, such as New York City.
"Things started turning in April when the city reopened, and now everything is going in a 'New York minute,'" said Justine Bray of Brown Harris Stevens, who has worked in the city's real estate business for 27 years. "It's insane."
Bray recently worked with a client in Thailand who was eyeing an apartment in New York's Murray Hill, New York.
"That apartment went from $ 5,164 to $ 5,559, then $ 5,715, $ 5,882, $ 5,929," she recalls. “So my client woke up every day and saw that it cost more. We got it for just over $ 6,200 in July. "
Lexington, Minnesota, properties for sale, high demand and low supply, properties are asking for more than sellers expect. (Photo: Michael Siluk / UCG / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Even after the contract is signed, the prices rise.
Pam Crocker recently saw this firsthand when she made an offer - at full asking price - for a luxury two bedroom rental in Manhattan's Upper East Side. After the deposit (including the first month's rent plus deposit) and the signing of the rental agreement, she patiently waited for the countersignature by the owner, who had accepted the offer.
"There was one delay after the next and they kept telling me there were all these other higher offers," said Crocker. "I got so upset that I almost resigned, but I put my heart on this apartment."
It cost her $ 1,200 a month more than the originally accepted offer. "I've done a lot of real estate transactions and owned villas in Jamaica, but I've never been pushed around like this," said Crocker.
When does it simmer? Soon, said Parsons.
"What we are seeing in the market for apartments for sale right now is likely a sign that something is going to happen in the rental housing sector later this year," said Parsons, "where the market is moving from 'really, really hot' to 'hot' changes. '"
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Personal finance journalist Vera Gibbons is a former employee of SmartMoney magazine and a former correspondent for Kiplingers Personal Finance. Vera, who served MSNBC as an on-air financial analyst for over a decade, currently co-hosts the weekly apolitical news podcast, NoPo, which she founded. She lives in Palm Beach, Florida.

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