Cooling housing market may not help local renters

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Rising interest rates may cool the boiling housing market and ideally the cost of rent should drop, but experts said with supply shortages so low , this rule simply does not work.

“I do couch surfing, I’m going to stay with my daughter, my brother, my sister-in-law, it’s just frustrating, I have no place to live,” said a Springfield woman.

This woman from Springfield, who does not want to appear in front of the camera, has been looking for an apartment since April, without success.

“I have submitted so far, I think, 37 applications,” she said.

37 applications, and still nowhere to live, even though she says she meets all the rental conditions.

“Our income exceeds the amounts and no one calls back,” she said.

This woman said she was looking for a two-bedroom apartment that allows cats, a quick search on housing site Zillow found only one available apartment that fits those parameters.

“It’s a terrible shortage and it’s a simple matter of economics, supply and demand,” said real estate broker Rober Raymond.

Raymond told Western Mass News it all comes down to a lack of inventory and the pandemic housing boom.

“People are now becoming renters who are officially landlords because they’re taking advantage of market capitalization and putting extra pressure on an already decimated market,” Raymond said.

The Fed, which is raising interest rates again this week to calm inflation, could put even more pressure on the rental market.

“For everyone, rates go up, 10% of buyers in the housing market fall, and as a result they stay renters,” Raymond said.

Prices are expected to remain high, with rents rising 12-20% in the past year alone. He said those looking for an apartment need to make their applications stand out.

“It’s really the luck of the draw and you have to work hard and try to have a good credit history, a good rental history, a good employment history or guarantors,” Raymond explained.

The apartment finder we spoke to said she would keep trying, but would soon overstay her welcome.

“Thank goodness I have good friends and family, I mean at this point we’re almost considering leaving the state, it’s getting so bad,” she said.

Raymond said you can broaden your search, with more affordable options in the Hills and Franklin County, but finding a spot will take patience.

“Fingers crossed you usually have an inside track on something because once the world knows it, they’re all thronging the same door,” Raymond said.

The median rent in Springfield is $1,450 well below the average rent in the state of Massachusetts, which is $2,500.

About Marilyn Perkins

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