I-TEAM: Rent increases in Jacksonville are among the highest in the country

According to real estate brokerage firm Redfin, the Jacksonville metro area had the ninth fastest-rising rent in the country, ahead of Florida cities like Orlando and Tampa.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to real estate brokerage firm Redfin, the Jacksonville metro area had the ninth fastest-rising rent in the country, ahead of Florida cities like Orlando and Tampa.

Many economists say they saw this coming, with so many Americans considering retiring during the pandemic and looking to Florida to settle down. It’s also interesting to note that the metro areas with the biggest rent increases are almost exclusively on the East Coast, and four out of the top ten are in the Sunshine State.

The average rent in Jacksonville is up 31% over the last year, in an analysis released Friday morning by Redfin.

1Austin, TX40%
2Nassau County, NY35%
3New York, NY35%
4Newark, NJ35%
5New Brunswick, NJ35%
6Miami, FL34%
7West Palm Beach, FL34%
8Fort Lauderdale, FL34%
9Jacksonville, FL31%
10Portland, OR29%

According to the real estate firm, rent in Austin, Texas, is rising the fastest in the nation right now, but look closely at the top 10 list and take note that four of the metro areas are in Florida. Jacksonville was joined by Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

RoundTable real estate broker Howard Flaschen says the national ranking doesn’t come as a surprise.

“If you think about what has happened in the pandemic, tens of thousands of people monthly are considering moving from where they are,” Flaschen said. “And where’s the destination to go to with low income taxes, great weather? It’s Florida, right?”

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Flaschen said rent and home prices have already been driven up in cities like Orlando and Tampa, positioning Jacksonville as an attractive option.

But the number of people moving to Northeast Florida is creating an affordability crisis.

Both landlords and tenants are voicing their thoughts about the rising rents on News4JAX.com.

Property owner Karin explains her rent increase like this, “During the pandemic I had no rental income and had to pay all expenses for months on end. The majority of my renters did leave the property in bad shape and I had to pay for repairs which were far greater than any profit I made. In fact, on my taxes, I declared only losses and no gains on four of five properties.”

Tenants facing $400-$500 rent increases still worry about price gouging though. Ken writes, “I keep seeing landlords complain they’re raising rent on things that are tax write-offs for property owners. No one is calling them out on that!”

Real estate experts do not expect locals will be priced out of the market, but, instead, those facing rent hikes might have to move to less expensive parts of Northeast Florida.

“What you’re going to find, just like in every other metropolitan area that begins to grow, is people may have to be willing to drive an extra 10 minutes, an extra 15 minutes to find that affordable home for them, be it a purchase or a rental,” Flaschen said.

The News4JAX I-TEAM spoke with an economist at Redfin Friday. She pointed out that working from home and people planning for an early retirement are both factors leading to more people coming to Jacksonville than there are places for them to live.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.