Rental unit costs in El Paso increased during pandemic, report says

El Paso News

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2020 file photo, a man walks in front of a For Rent sign in a window of a residential property in San Francisco. The Biden administration on Friday, May 7, 2021, announced the allocation of $21.6 billion to provide emergency rental assistance to help prevent evictions of people who lost jobs during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The cost of single-family rental households have surged amid the pandemic, which has caused many families to rethink their living situations.

Rent costs in El Paso have increased by 6.9 percent since the beginning of the pandemic, which is more than the U.S. average, a new report says. The median cost of rent in El Paso in March 2020 was $1,094, which increased to $1,169 by March 2021, marking a 6.9 percent increase. 

Researchers found that rental unit vacancies in the U.S. were at a multi-decade low prior to the pandemic, which caused prices to rise to meet the demand.

Additionally, 88 percent of new rental construction between mid-2018 and mid-2019 opened with asking prices of $1,050 or more while the overall number of rental units priced less than $1,000 fell substantially since 2014. 

Researchers examined data from the Zillow Observed Rent Index from March 2020 to March 2021 to determine year-over-year shifts in average rent costs.

Relative cost of living in each area and the median income for renters were determined using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

Below is a data summary that compares El Paso’s rental unit averages to the national statistics:

El Paso averageNational average
Year-over-year change in rent +6.9%Year-over-year change in rent +1.3%
Median rent in March 2021 $1,169Median rent in March 2021 $1,739
Median rent in March 2020 $1,094Median rent in March 2020 $1,716
Overall cost of living (compared to U.S. average) -12.3%Overall cost of living (compared to U.S. average) N/A
Median income for renter households $33,655Median income for renter households $42,479
Source: U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis

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