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A single mom's rent went up $700, an increase an economist says is happening across the Valley

“We’re seeing year-over-year rent increases of more than 20% pretty much across the Valley,” Court said.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: 12 News has removed the woman's last name for privacy reasons.

Photos of two young boys hang on the wall in Alicia’s two-bedroom apartment.

“That’s just right outside,” she said.

They’re her young boys, now 11 and 14, in the photo that was taken several years ago. 

“They’ve grown up here,” she said.

The three of them have shared the northeast Phoenix apartment for nearly 10 years.

“We made it our home,” the woman added. “We love it.”

Of course, she’s not paying the rent that she was when she moved in almost a decade ago. She said rent usually goes up each year.

“There’s typically maybe $40 to $50 a year,” she stated.

Alicia currently pays just under $1,300 for the roughly 1,000-square-foot bottom-floor apartment. But this year’s increase was different.

“It was significantly higher. I panicked! I mean it went up almost $700,” she exclaimed.

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However, her experience of rent rising exponentially is pretty common.

“It’s a consistent story across the Valley,” Danny Court, partner and senior economist with Elliot D. Pollack & Company said.

Court said especially in the last six months, rents have gone up.

“We’re seeing year-over-year rent increases of more than 20%  pretty much across the Valley,” Court said.

Court said that much of an increase is abnormal.

He said the housing market is a factor with more money needed to get into a home in the Valley.

Plus, more companies are moving to the Valley.

“It’s a great thing, but jobs are people, and people need housing,” Court said.

Court adds there’s also not enough housing to go around.

“We need about 12,000 or 13,000 new apartments each year just to keep up with the new population coming in,” Court said. “That doesn’t dig us out of the hole we need to stabilize prices.”

Court said on top of the 12,000 to 13,000 new apartments needed to keep up, an additional 15,000 new apartments would need to be built to stabilize prices.

However, new construction is also having its own issues, too.

“Builders are having trouble finding labor, materials, with COVID and the supply chain issues there. There’s speed bumps at the municipal level and not approving projects or not welcoming apartments and more density, but it’s needed,” Court said.

Court believes the issue will persist until the supply catches up.

“There is no new supply solution that we see on the horizon that is going to curtail this increase in prices anytime soon,” Court said.

Alicia said she considered buying, and her friends even helped her raise money for a down payment.

“The market is just so insane right now and on one income, it becomes just such a stress,” she said.

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Rankin said she would like to see a more permanent solution for people who are in the same situation as her.

“I wish that there was some sort of rate that they couldn’t exceed,” she proclaimed.

But, she did work out a deal with her apartment management that knocked down the increase a couple hundred dollars for six months.

“It’s kind of just like taking it day to day like if I am here for six months then we’ll approach it again at that time and see what else is available,” she said.

RELATED: Millions of dollars in federal relief money remains unused as people face evictions

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