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Rent prices keep going up across western Pennsylvania

Rent prices keep going up across western Pennsylvania
Rent prices keep going up across western Pennsylvania 02:33

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Rent prices keep going up across western Pennsylvania, and a local realtor said it could be some time before the numbers drop. 

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

"Rents have increased pretty dramatically, especially over the last couple of years out here," Century 21 Realty realtor Brian Benton said. 

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

"It's fairly equal in terms of the amounts going up from what I'm seeing," said Benton.

According to the Washington Post, Washington County saw rent go up 7.7 percent since 2019, a bigger increase than in Allegheny County. However, Westmoreland County is seeing the highest bump among the three counties.

Benton blames the spike in rent on a few factors.

"Because there's more cost to buy, renovate and maintain, they're going to pass those costs down to the renters," he said.

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

Redfin's chief economist, Daryl Fairweather, said that's on par with rental price hikes across the nation.

"In Pittsburgh, rents are up about 15.5 percent. So, that's about on par with the whole entire country. It seems like Pittsburgh is right there in the middle," Fairweather said.

What can people do if they're not ready to buy?

"I would say if you could hold off a few more months, I think we will start to see those prices go down," Benton said.

Benton said the competitive housing market has increased the demand for rentals. However, he stressed that we should start to see the housing market cool down as interest rates go up and start to see rental prices drop later this year or at the beginning of 2023.

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