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St. Louis and Missouri have some of the largest rent increases in the nation

A banner hangs advertising rentable apartments on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Grand Center. According to Rent.com, the median asking price for a rental unit rose nearly 18 percent since last year.
Eric Lee
St. Louis Public Radio
A banner hangs advertising rentable apartments in Grand Center. According to Rent.com, the median asking price for a rental unit rose nearly 18% since last year.

Missouri has had the largest annual rent increase, according to new data. St. Louis rose to the top too, with the second-largest median rent increase in any large city. The report, compiled by Rent.com, says this month brought “record breaking rent price for the Midwest.”

“We analyze every month, all the insights from tens of thousands of rental listings around the country,” said Kate Terhune, director of marketing for Rent.com. “Rent demand has been softening over the last 12 months, and I think that has a lot to do with increased rent prices that we've been seeing across the board.”

The data indicated the median price of rent is $1,209 in Missouri, an overall increase of 13% since last year. That increase is the highest in the country, with New Hampshire in second place.

St. Louis saw the second-biggest change of any large city. With the median rent rising more than 17%, it’s up more than $320 since last year. Providence, Rhode Island, has the largest year-over-year increase.

Still, rent is rising faster in St. Louis. Data shows a 9.5% increase in month-over-month price — the biggest change indicated among 50 metro areas.

“In St. Louis, interestingly, there's actually a decrease of about 7% of available new units. So fewer units mean more renters are fighting for the same available units,” Terhune said.

Data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows the increases in rent in the St. Louis metro area may be even larger.

HUD's information over a similar time period shows St. Louis area rents increased by 21%.

A spokesperson for HUD said increased rents are connected to homelessness.

"Based on feedback from a number of our communities across the nation, escalating rent prices are probably the number one driver and the reason we're seeing an uptick in homelessness right now," said Brian Handshy.

The department also reported that 12% more Americans faced homelessness in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Locally, some advocates that provide housing assistance say people are struggling to cover rent.

Rich LaPlume, St. Louis site director of DePaul USA, a homeless services organization said “it’s a huge issue right now.”

Lauren Brennecke is a senior studying journalism and media studies at Webster University. She is a 2023-24 Newsroom Intern at St. Louis Public Radio.