Rent on the rise in Maricopa County

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- If it seems like you're paying more to rent your house or apartment, it's because you probably are.

According to Zillow, a real estate website, rental prices have increased by 5.6 percent in the last 12 months in the Phoenix metro area.

Brenda Ryan of Arizona Premier Realty says the increase is due in part to a lack of inventory.

"We typically have 10,000 to 12,000 active listings in Maricopa County, and currently we have under 5,000," Ryan said.

That basically means the demand for rental properties is so high, it's driving up the prices Valley-wide.

Take for example a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a pool in Peoria.

"It rented for $1,350 two years ago, so in 2013, this year it's renting for $1,595," she said.

As the prices continue to climb, people are becoming more and more creative in order to afford the increases.

"What we've seen recently is a lot of families are coming together and combining households. So we have a mom and dad and then we have their daughter and her family and grand-kids now under a single-family roof," said Ryan.

If you are not quite ready to share a home with your in-laws, Brenda says this is a really good time to consider, or in some cases, reconsider buying a home.

"It's a great time to buy. Interest rates are still good; they're very low, so that increases buying power," she said.

As for when the rental market will level out, Brenda thinks it could still be a year or two still before the supply catches up to the demand.