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The competitive environment of rental properties

Much has been reported on the housing market being a “seller’s paradise.” Offers on houses are measured in hours instead of days. Buyers who would typically negotiate a lower price now find themselves competing to see how high the price can get.

A trickle-down effect is occurring as countless Californians looking for rental properties are also seeing record-level costs for monthly rent and an unprecedented demand with properties scooped up the same day of the initial posting. RealPage reports that rent is up nationally by 17 percent in July alone, with occupancy at nearly 97 percent.

Eviction bans are also keeping the pickings slim, with tenants enjoying ongoing, rent-free protections, taking away the average six percent who are evicted annually.

Desperate for options

Prospective renters and dejected owners who have given up must now employ similar creative strategies to get their feet literally in the door of an apartment, townhouse, or single-family home. While they wait to secure a new dwelling, many are checking into hotels for the time being.

Landlords see the potential windfalls beyond the hundreds of dollars they are receiving for non-refundable application fees. Other property owners are outright selling their own properties at the expense of tenants who must now enter the fray that, if successful, will see them paying significantly more in rent. The scarcity of affordable rentals has not been seen since post-World War II.

Developers are moving as fast as they can to provide more options to frustrated renters. For now, the competition for rental property is fierce. Owners are reaping the profits while tenants hope for a lucky break in an environment that resembles winning the lottery.