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Experts say demand for housing, pandemic are factors in Lexington’s rent increase

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Renters across Lexington probably already noticed the cost of rent is going up.

“The increase is 4.7% at the end of the first quarter in 2021,” said Brenda Wells with the Greater Lexington Apartment Association.

Wells said it’s for a number of reasons. The first... is the pandemic.

“Appliances, just staffing, the overall operation for the apartment communities has increased, and therefore rents have increased to offset those costs,” Wells said.

She also said the demand for housing has gone up.

“The availability is just not there and so therefore the supply and demand is up and it can increase your rent to be able to keep up with the supply and demand,” Wells said.

Mayor Linda Gorton pointed out rent is increasing across the country—it’s not just unique to Lexington. But those apartments are filling up because of the city’s growth.

“Lexington through this whole pandemic has continued to grow, and that actually is a positive,” Mayor Gorton said.

But she said the growth and cost of living can be a difficult balance.

“If our cost-of-living starts shooting up really high, companies won’t want to come here, people won’t want to move here, and we need to grow, we want to grow and be a healthy city,” Mayor Gorton said.

As for the future of rent prices, Wells said we’ll just have to wait and see.

The eviction moratorium, which protects renters who can’t pay because of the pandemic, is set to expire at the end of this month.

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