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Why is rent rising in Buffalo?

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 24, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to rental performance tracking company Stessa, rent in Buffalo is up 5.3% over last year, which they say is above the US verage of around 3.2%. According to Buffalo City Living owner, Christopher Mekker, this is due to a few factors.

"We're getting pinched on supply and demand at the same time," Mekker said.

Mekker says the main two factors this comes down to are people moving in from larger cities like NYC, and the lack of landlord inventory due to the current eviction moratorium that is supposed to end on September 1st.

"Think about it this way, we've been living in an environment where no landlord can evict a tenant for almost a year and a half," Mekker said, "so those are properties that are typically getting turned over on a regular basis that you're just not seeing on the market."

According to Mekker, this rental market is the most competitive he has ever seen.

"We had a rental property on the West side that, just last week, we showed one time at $1,800 per month and it was off the market in the blink of an eye."

For the tenants, this rising rent is something PUSH Buffalo sees as a growing problem.

"They're paying more and more and there is no real reason to think that landlords will bring the prices down again when the have historically not ever done that," Teresa Watson with PUSH Buffalo, said.

According to Watson, many Buffalo homes are old and outdated, making the price tag often not worth it. It's why they have pushed for more renters rights like the expansion of the eviction moratorium. They fear rising rents could lead to a surge of people being forced from their homes.