Sacramento’s Rent Rising Faster than Anywhere Else in California

SACRAMENTO -- You don't have to go far to hear someone in Sacramento complaining about a rent hike.

"It's high, yeah, just a couple of months ago it went up $212, which was a lot more than last time," said Stephanie Nelson.

The  rent hikes are not isolated. A Yardi Matrix Real Estate survey out this month found that Sacramento's rent is rising faster than anywhere else in California. And the capital city's year-to-year rent growth is the highest in the nation -- up 10 percent from this time last year. The national average is 2.7 percent.

"We all know the arena being built downtown has driven the cost of everything," said Jim Lofgren, executive director of the Rental Housing Association. "We just have a lack of supply."

Lofgren says the solution is simple.

"Build as many as we can as fast as we can," he said.

Lofgren believes the rising rent won't last forever in Sacramento, and the shortage of units has paved the way for more construction.

"The rents have risen to the point that investors can pencil out new apartment projects, and we're seeing an increase in the number of projects in the pipeline," he said.

Apartments are going up across the city, but some projects, like the Ice Blocks going up on the corner of 16th and R streets, are costly. A studio apartment goes for $1,400.

"Right yeah, we'll never be able to afford that, and I don't want to live in a studio, I want to live in a house," said Dan Nelson.

Many we spoke with feel new construction may not bring more affordable rent.

"Because a brand new place is definitely going to want to charge a lot more than an existing or historic home that's available," Andrew Narayan said.