When Andrew Pendry moved to downtown Sacramento, he chose his apartment because it was affordable. Now, he says, he can’t say the same.
"Now I see the rent increase is pushing me out of town,” said Pendry.
His rent ballooned from around $800 bucks a month, to more than $1,200 in three years. Pendry says his hand is forced.
"My lease is coming up next month and I have to move," he told FOX40.
He's not alone. A recent real estate research firm study shows Sacramento's rent prices increased almost 12 percentfrom August 2015 –the highest increase in the country percentage-wise.
The popular website Zillow shows dozens of Sacramento listings upwards of $15 hundred a month.
"The downtown isn't supposed to be an affordable place. It's supposed to be a live, work and play center of dynamism,” Barry Broome, President of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, said Friday.
Broome says as the city continues to develop, and move further from the recession, higher rent is to be expected.
"You'll see an uptick in housing values and rents will reflect that but it's really a recovery number more than anything else," Broome said.
Every year, Broome says, 18,000 people move to Sacramento from the Bay Area. Plus, developers who want to build in Northern California generally have to pay higher fees than almost anywhere else in the country. More people and fewer housing options result higher rent.
"If we don't grow, we don't thrive,” said Broome.
"I'll go someplace close by but I'll miss being downtown,” said Pendry.
The developing downtown area itself may price out some renters, like Pendry, but Broome says rent is more manageable other places in and around Sacramento County. As for downtown rent, he says, it's the price we pay for growth.