MINNEAPOLIS -- Kristen Svobodny grew up in Alexandria, Minn. After college, she wanted to spread her wings and move to Chicago. But after two years, Kristen decided she missed her friends and family. She found a job in Bloomington and moved to the Twin Cities.
"I thought I would save all this money moving from Chicago to Minnesota," Svobodny said. "I thought my rent was going to be so much cheaper and I'd have more space and that was not the case."
Kristen is not alone. According to new numbers released by the National Association of Realtors, Minneapolis has the second lowest vacancy rate in the nation settling in behind New York City. People haven't had this hard of a time finding rentals in more than ten years.
"The market is constricted," Michael Vraa, the managing attorney for Home Line, a non-profit tenant advocacy organization said.
He says this situation is bad news for renters for more than one reason. First, landlords have tightened their screening criteria meaning those who have had a bankruptcy, eviction or a criminal record will have a harder time finding housing. Secondly, rents are on the rise.
"I've seen vacancy rates low, but this is the first time in ten years I've seen rent go up," Vraa said.
He suggests if your landlord is trying to raise your rent, negotiate. Vraa added since most landlords don't want to lose tenants, asking for a lower increase but signing a longer lease can sometimes do the trick.
But already the average rental in Minneapolis is at about $925 per month. This is particularly alarming for those who are trying to find affordable housing.
"It's not that easy for a big developer to make money renting $500 apartments that are brand new," Vraa said. "It's just not possible."
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