'Tough': Phoenix residents struggle with spiking rent prices amid housing shortage

The cost of rent continues to rise across the metropolitan Phoenix area, with landlords reportedly raising prices by 20% to 30% and leaving tenants worried about the future.

As a gig economy driver, Phoenix resident Aaron Bertoni hears it a lot from his passengers.

"I talk to people all the time, how the heck they’re going to pay for it," Bertoni said. That "it" means rent. He knows it, too.

Bertoni says he’s lucky his landlord has kept his $1,700 a month Phoenix home pretty steady, but was warned the home he shares with his elderly parents and young son will go up soon.

"An average rent on a house this size in this area is anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 a month," Bertoni said.

Valley realtor Neil Brooks says he hears it from his clients all the time.

"The problem is the rents continue to go up," Brooks said. "They’re far outpacing salaries and what they’re making right now."

He says the quickly increasing rents will start to have an impact on home buying.

"With people’s rent going up so high, they can’t save enough money for a down payment and closing costs on the new house," Brooks explained. "So it’s people that would normally want to purchase a house, they qualify, they’re highly qualified to purchase a house and get a mortgage, but they just can’t save the money to get the down payment and closing costs on the house because their rents are so high."

According to a Phoenix study, the city is short more than 150,000 housing units. That shortage helps drive the increase in rent.

Bertoni has already had to sell off one of his cars and is worried about what will happen next.

"It’s going to make it tough, especially with the price of everything else going up," Bertoni said.

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