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Inflation slowing but rent prices will likely stay high

One economist says rental relief will be felt by prices stabilizing, not prices dropping
Rental Prices & Inflation
Posted at 8:53 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 20:53:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Inflation data released this week is showing that prices are slowing. However, when it comes to rent, prices aren't slowing as quickly, and economists say it could take some time before renters see relief.

"When we see prices go up for particularly things like mortgages or a number of products, we don't ever see them go back down,” said Dr. Michael Hicks a professor of Economics at Ball State. “So some of the higher prices are stuck with us today. "

For renters, those higher prices are hurting their pocketbooks. While most renters are used to paying a small increase, one renter we talked with says the increases have continued to get higher each year.

"Before, you know maybe five years ago the rent increase was like $30-50,” said Crystal Jones who has been a renter in Carmel since 2005. “Now we are seeing that hit to like $100."

While rent prices aren’t likely to decrease, Hicks says they will become more affordable by stabilizing.

"The pressure for them to go up is now lower,” Hicks said. “So, the landlord no longer can sell their property as easy, and they aren't facing any growth in cost. So, I think we should anticipate rent stabilizing for the next year. “

Hicks says the hope of economists is that wages will increase enough every year to where people who are renting are making more than what their rent is increasing every year. However, for some renters, that isn’t an option.

"I just don't want to be priced out,” said Jones. “I just want to catch a break at some point. "

Some economists say Indiana’s $200 inflation relief plan is a double-edged sword. You will get $200, but those economists say that will put a billion more dollars into the economy and that could cause Indiana to see higher inflation last three to six months longer than in states that haven't provided relief.

If you need rental relief, new applications or additional funding are no longer being accepted, the city of Indianapolis is prioritizing the remaining funds for active evictions.

The Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance program is also no longer accepting new applications. You can sign up here to be notified if new applications are being accepted.

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority recommends anyone who is facing eviction visit Indiana Legal Help's website for assistance or call 211 for housing counseling.