Rent prices continue to rise in western Pennsylvania

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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Rent prices continue to rise in western Pennsylvania, and a local realtor said it could be a while before the numbers come down.

Washington County is one of the counties experiencing a spike in rent prices, but it’s not the only one.

“Rents have gone up quite dramatically, especially over the last two years here,” said Century 21 Realty agent Brian Benton.

He works in Washington County, but he also serves some of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

“It’s pretty even in terms of the amounts going up from what I’m seeing,” Benton said.

According to The Washington Post, Washington County has seen rents rise 7.7% since 2019, a bigger increase than Allegheny County. However, Westmoreland County is seeing the biggest increase among the three counties.

Benton attributes the spike in rents to a few factors.

“Because there are more purchase, renovation and maintenance costs, they will pass those costs on to tenants,” he said.

The latest figures from real estate group Redfin show the average cost of a rental in the Pittsburgh area in April was close to $1,900 per month. The average cost was close to $1,600 in April last year and $20 cheaper than in December 2020.

Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said that was consistent with rental price increases across the country.

“In Pittsburgh, rents are up about 15.5%. So that’s about on par with the whole country. It looks like Pittsburgh is right in the middle,” Fairweather said.

What can people do if they are not ready to buy?

“I would say if you could wait a few more months, I think we’ll start to see those prices come down,” Benton said.

Benton said the competitive housing market has increased demand for rentals. However, he pointed out that we should start to see the housing market cool off as interest rates rise and start to see rental prices fall later this year or early 2023.

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