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What Tampa Bay renters looking for apartments can expect right now

The region is seeing rental costs continue to increase and vacancy rates at record lows. Here’s a breakdown of what residents are likely to find while apartment hunting.
A view of the old Marine Apartments building in Pass-a-Grille on St. Pete Beach. As the Tampa Bay rental market heats up, small apartment buildings like this one are being replaced by luxury high-rises.
A view of the old Marine Apartments building in Pass-a-Grille on St. Pete Beach. As the Tampa Bay rental market heats up, small apartment buildings like this one are being replaced by luxury high-rises. [ DIRK SHADD | Times (2021) ]
Published Aug. 5|Updated Yesterday

With the Tampa Bay population at over 3 million and more people expected to move to here, housing demand is at an all-time high. More apartments are being built in the bay area, but most are being marketed as luxury units, while cheaper units tend to be the ones with lower vacancy rates, according to commercial real estate data company CoStar.

Using data from CoStar, we addressed some questions that both new and seasoned renters may have as they’re searching for an apartment locally.

Data from CoStar explains how much Tampa Bay renters could pay for an apartment.
Data from CoStar explains how much Tampa Bay renters could pay for an apartment. [ KELSEY HARRELL | Times ]

The asking rent prices in Tampa Bay increased by 25% in 2021, but have settled to a more moderate rate over the last 12 months, according to CoStar. The growth rate for rent is expected to continue rising over time at a gradual pace.

Data from CoStar shows what the vacancy rates look like in Tampa Bay right now.
Data from CoStar shows what the vacancy rates look like in Tampa Bay right now. [ KELSEY HARRELL | Times ]
Related: Online rental scams are everywhere in Tampa Bay. Here's how to avoid them.

Seeing low vacancy rates for long periods of time is unusual; however, demand isn’t expected to decrease anytime soon, a report from CoStar says.

Data from CoStar shows how many new apartment properties are under construction in Tampa Bay.
Data from CoStar shows how many new apartment properties are under construction in Tampa Bay. [ KELSEY HARRELL | Times ]

Construction projects for new apartment buildings are going on all over Tampa Bay. These projects are expected to supply thousands of additional units, but they wouldn’t solve issues related to the need for affordable housing because many of the buildings are being marketed as luxury apartments.

A list of resources for Tampa Bay renters who are having trouble finding or affording housing.
A list of resources for Tampa Bay renters who are having trouble finding or affording housing. [ KELSEY HARRELL | Times ]

Right now people facing increased rents paired with inflation costs are being priced out of their apartments. Officials in both St. Petersburg and Tampa have been discussing possible rent control measures.

If you need help finding housing or are struggling to find housing you can afford, check out our list of financial and legal resources.

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