Rent prices rising four times faster than income according to new study

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 5:08 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s not just food and gas, rent prices are soaring for families right now. New data shows it’s especially true for the Birmingham area.

The rent report by shows rent prices are rising four times faster than income.

“It’s been a tremendous increase in rent,” Cecille McCarty who lives in Birmingham said.

McCarty is having to stretch out her finances more because of soaring rent prices. Her rent has gone up $200.

“Not just things that you want, but things that you need you kind of have to nick off of it well. I’m going to have to do that later or you have to kind of budget your money a little bit more,” McCarty said. “It’s ridiculous. You might as well look to buy your own home.”

In Birmingham, it’s cheaper to actually do that. According to a rent report by, over the past two decades, median home prices rose 90 percent across the county. Rental prices in Birmingham grew to 172 percent, 16 percent more than the national median. Experts say rent prices have been steadily increasing over the past decade.

“In Alabama, we’ve seen a 13 percent increase in the last year. It’s unbelievable,” Nick VinZant is a market analyst with Lending Tree recently told us.

And the financial fallout is terrible for the quality of life of residents according to VinZant.

“If you are paying more than 30 percent of your total income on rent, you consider it housing cost burdened, because if you’re paying that much it’s difficult to afford other household necessities,” VinZant said.

With several newly built and more multifamily developments on the way, prospective renters in the Birmingham area could see some form of elevated rent prices according to our partners at the Birmingham Business Journal.

The BBJ says low vacancies and high demand for rentals could cause landlords to raise the rent. Brian Tunnell with Rent Monster, a local company that helps renters find apartments, telling the BBJ that lots of new apartments being built means we’re soaking up the excess demand for housing. But he says the boom in new top end units is doing very little to address the affordable housing shortage in the city.

You can read more about the rise in rent from the BBJ at


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