Study: Surprise named most expensive city in the Valley for renters

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 18:54:16-04
Which Valley city has the steepest rent? It may not be the one you think.
According to Apartment List's July rental report, Surprise has the highest rents within the Phoenix metro area, with a median two-bedroom price of $2,500.
Scottsdale was right behind, with $2,200 for a two-bedroom place. Tempe rounded out the top three at $1,250.
So why does Surprise come in at #1? Experts say winter visitors and baseball lovers could be to blame.
Apartment List Rent Report data on one-bedroom and two-bedroom rents are calculated as the median for units available in the specified size and time period. According to David Friedman, managing broker for Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty, the median for July is high because it accounts only for units that are currently open.
"We have a huge number of snow birds and sports fans coming to the West Valley in the winter and spring. The regulars know to secure their next-year’s hideaway early," Friedman said.  "Generally they do it on their way out of town the previous year. If they don’t think one year ahead, there won’t be a room at the inn next year."

Surprise's median rent is actually down 2.5 percent from this time last year.  The average rent in Gilbert and Peoria also dropped, while it rose in other Valley cities.

According to the recently released State of the Nation's Housing study, multi-family construction ramped up for the fifth consecutive year. Demand is exceeding supply, pushing down vacancy rates and pushing up rents. 
In total, about 36 percent of US households - that's nearly 110 million people -- leased their homes last year. 
And it's not slowing down.
The study reports the number of renter households shot up by nearly 9 million from 2005 to 2015 -- the largest increase over any 10-year stretch on record. 
For more on how rental prices have far outpaced income growth, click here.