Phoenix rent prices expected to go up again in 2017

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's not the news Valley renters want to hear.

Rent prices are expected to go up again.

Rent prices have been skyrocketing across the Valley for quite a while with the average rent up seven percent since last year.

The future outlook doesn't look much better with the real estate website Zillow predicting another 4.6 percent rent price hike in the next 12 months for the Phoenix metro area.

Phoenix renter Ben Cofer has seen the numbers and had enough.

He's now looking to buy a house.

"It's expensive compared to buying and paying a mortgage," said Cofer. "It's 100 percent lost money, where a mortgage you are at least building equity and helping build your credit score."

According to the website Zumper, the median price for a two-bedroom apartment in the Phoenix area is now $1,000 a month.

But why exactly are rents climbing when the economy seems to be getting better?

Valerie Iverson is the executive director of the Arizona's Housing Alliance.

She said the serious shortage of affordable apartments is driving up rent prices.

"For folks with extremely low income making $25,000 a year or less, there's really a shortage of apartments for these families," said Iverson. "There are only 21 affordable apartments for every 100 families in this income level."

But there is some potentially good news on the horizon.

Between 10,000 and 12,000 new rental units are currently under construction, and are expected to open up across the Valley in the next 12 months.

However, all of the new units are more upscale, and not in the affordable category.

Iverson said it should still ease the rental crunch and help stabilize rent prices.

"Overall, it will help the apartment market," said Iverson.

According to Iverson, the best way to stabilize rent prices is for state lawmakers to provide more incentives to developers to build more affordable housing units in the Phoenix area.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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