Real Deal: Finding an apartment to rent amid short supply and high demand
People who are on the hunt for an apartment are finding out that there is an extremely low supply amid sky-high demand -- and even higher prices.
But is the rental market finally showing some signs of easing?
Ask any apartment hunter if they've had any luck. One will instantly see the frustration on their face.
They finally find a place that's been just listed, but by the time they pick-up the phone to call about it, it's gone.
And it happens over, and over again.
"Very competitive. If you like something, within the next couple of hours, you have to put in an application," said Jeanette Belger, of EXP Realty.
News 12 New Jersey met Belger at a two-bedroom, one-bath, 1,000 square-foot apartment in Robbinsville that was going for $1,650 a month.
She says if one wants to find a place right now, they have to be aggressive.
"Recently, I had somebody in a bidding war on a rental. The rent was $2,100 and they asked me how high my client was willing to go," Belger said.
Her client lost it.
"There's no negotiating now. It's only going to go higher up, not lower," she warned.
The average rent prices in Hudson County is $2,013. The average in Bergen is $1,967. In Morris, it's $1,860 and in Monmouth, the average price is $1,827.
The good news, according to Investopedia's Caleb Silver, is that there has been some stabilization in rent prices in the state over the past month.
"In Monmouth County, rents are only up 1.1 % in April, Hudson 0.6%. Same in Bergen, and Morris you finally saw a drop of about 0.4%. That's after big increases over the past year," Silver said. "But across the board, I wouldn't expect them to come down too far because inventory remains very, very tight."
The question is why?
"What we're looking at is people are selling their house, and they can't find a house right away, so they're renting for short periods of time," Silver explained. "So they are taking up rentals for people that are typical renters."
This, in turn, is creating a rental shortage and pushing prices higher.
Belger shared advice for those who are looking to rent.
She recommends to immediately fill out an application and provide references, maybe from a former landlord.
She also said potential renters should make sure their credit is top notch do not try to open any new credit cards.
Belger also advises not to make major purchases, like a car, for example.