PRICED OUT OF JAX: Jacksonville among many Sun Belt metros with steep rent increase

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Not only are houses hard to come by — let alone afford — in Northeast Florida, tenants are taking a hit, too.

Zillow reports the average rent in Jacksonville is $1,719.

PRICED OUT OF JAX: Jacksonville’s rental crisis featured on 60 Minutes

Action News Jax met up with Wayne Edwards on Monday afternoon as he was out shooting hoops. People from across the country want in on the weather, too.

“Rents are going up all around the country. But it’s even more severe in migration destinations like the Sunbelt of the country. Austin, Phoenix, Florida. A lot of people are moving there, and there’s just more demand for rent,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said.

Fairweather explained to CBS News’ 60 Minutes how more demand and fewer available homes is bad news for renters.

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Redfin reports rents increased 31% in Jacksonville last year.

“We went from paying 14 hundred bucks, and now we’re close to 2000. We moved into a bigger unit, yes, but in comparison to what we would have paid for this apartment now, it’s kind of out-pacing us,” Edward explained.

He doesn’t blame people for flocking to the Sunshine State — after all, he did that in 1997. He just wishes it didn’t affect how much he has to pay for a roof over his head.

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“We just have to be more cognizant about how we spend, how money comes in, and allocate versus misallocating how we spend our money,” Edwards added.

For now, Edwards is locked into a two-year lease, so he doesn’t have to worry about his rent climbing. But he and his wife are thinking about moving out of Jacksonville one day so they can maybe buy a house.

In the meantime: ”Optimism wins at the end.”

PRICED OUT OF JAX: Inflation driving up mortgage rates

Edwards is remaining hopeful.

While Zillow reports a higher rent for all properties it monitors, the Florida Apartment Association reports a lower average rent in Jacksonville.

According to the Florida Apartment Association:

  • For 2020 the average rent in Jacksonville was $1,168
  • For 2021 the average rent in Jacksonville was $1,216
  • For 2022 the average rent in Jacksonville is $1,435