Business

Some Houston Renters Are Experiencing Post-Harvey Sticker Shock

Since Harvey, class A apartment rents have increased by more than $70 on average

Apartment building at Market Square Park in downtown Houston.

Deborah Whisnand has lived in an apartment complex in the Greenway-Upper Kirby neighborhood for close to 18 months.

When she signed the lease, her monthly rent was $1,300. But when she recently got her renewal notice, she was shocked.

“The 12-month lease, which I certainly was willing to do – I’m not going anywhere – was just under 20 percent higher,” Whisnand said. “Just under $1,600.”

She was expecting some sort of an increase, just like she’s gotten at previous apartments, but not of this magnitude.

“That’s quite a large amount, no doubt,” Bruce McClenny, president of ApartmentData.com, said.

Rents have increased after Hurricane Harvey, he said, simply because occupancy levels have gone up more than usual.

“Maybe we see 12,000 to 14,000 units rented in a year,” he said. “And we had 17,000 to 18,000 rented in a matter of two to three months.”

McClenny said average rents for class A apartments have risen by more than $70 across Greater Houston since Harvey.

He expects landlords to try and maintain the higher rent levels, but they might have to come back down when the many displaced homeowners move back into their repaired houses next year.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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