Austin rent is rising fast. Is this price gouging?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The information is clear: hire is way up in Austin.

New knowledge from Redfin exhibits Austin rents rose 48% from Could 2021 to May well 2022. The Austin place was the best metro with 12 months-over-calendar year rent jumps, followed by Nashville, Seattle and Cincinnati.

Austin’s enhance was the most significant enhance in Redfin’s rental information record, which commenced in 2019, in accordance to the Thursday release. The median inquiring hire was $2,707.

Real estate knowledge displays Austin lease is up above 25% because March 2020, according to April facts. Nearly 50% of available apartment units in Austin price tag more than $2,100, in accordance to info from

Are these lease increases thought of cost gouging?

Price tag gouging for the duration of a disaster is illegal, for each point out statute. Nevertheless this is generally noticed in charges of gas or foods, this also incorporates having gain of a catastrophe to market or lease lodging at “exorbitant or too much price.”

Having said that, there legally is no restrict to how much a landlord can boost hire from one lease to the following, per the Texas Condition Law Library.

David Mintz, the vice president of govt affairs for nonprofit trade group Texas Flats Affiliation, explained price tag gouging is not essentially what we are seeing in Austin. He claimed the improves in hire mirror the value jumps viewed in the housing market with demand from customers outpacing Central Texas housing source. He stated hire is pushed by market ailments.

“If you evaluate what is taking place to the price tag of lease, with the cost of getting a house…it’s the exact matter, apart from that the charge of properties has long gone up at a increased charge than the expense of lease has in several scenarios,” Mintz said.

Some of the results in of rent hikes include raising development costs for new flats and property tax increases, Mintz explained. Multi-loved ones home owners are not eligible for homestead exemptions or residence appraisal caps.

Mintz reported although lease handle might audio great in theory, it would independent people in lease managed models and non-rent controlled models, which produces “winners and losers.”

“When you put an artificial constraint on what any individual can charge, you start to produce disincentives to new enhancement, the very detail that we will need to enable deliver some equilibrium to the industry,” Mintz mentioned.

Is lease control an choice?

Texas towns can build area rent handle ordinances “in particular cases,” according to the Texas State Law Library.

These ordinances require the governor’s approval. A condition of disaster need to also be in influence, and the city will have to show a housing crisis exists. If authorized, a town can proceed or discontinue rent management like how a governor proceeds or discontinues a state of disaster, state statute suggests.

The point out of Texas is beneath a catastrophe declaration due to the pandemic given that March 2020. Some counties are also underneath a disaster declaration owing to wildfires, which includes Williamson County. 

The metropolis of Austin stated it had no details similar to rent regulate in Austin.


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