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Rents continue slide in Longview area

By Ken Hedler
June 13, 2017 at 11:32 p.m.

Longview apartment rents continued to drop in May as national rents head higher, according to a new monthly survey from Apartment List.

The declines could signal saturation of the market, said Karen Holt, housing navigator with Community Healthcore in Longview.

Median rents in May in Longview were $770 for a one-bedroom and $940 for a two-bedroom unit, down 0.3 percent from the previous month and down 0.7 percent from May 2016.

Longview continued to buck a national trend, as Apartment List's survey showed rents increased 0.5 percent from a month earlier and 2.6 percent from a year ago.

Rents also increased over the past year in 88 of the nation's 100 largest cities, with some of the fastest growth in the Dallas and Seattle metro areas.

Rents apparently are dropping in the Longview area because newer and higher-end properties are making it tougher for older properties to attract tenants, Holt said.

"So they are seeing a decline in occupancy," she said. "Therefore, they have to adjust their rent."

Holt said renters should not have to pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing. The area median household income is between $56,000 and $57,000 a year.

Using $650 as a hypothetical monthly rent, Holt said a tenant would have to earn $12.52 an hour to avoid paying more than 30 percent of his or her income.

"Wages are going to have to go up or the properties are going to have to lower the rent a little bit," she said.



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