ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — We’re getting a closer look at what’s driving up prices to rent property in Rochester and elsewhere in the country to record levels.

Rochester native Quiana Dunaway has been renting a townhome for herself and five children for the last five years. Each time around, she and neighbors get hit with increases on their rent. Delaying any attempts to save money for her children’s future.   

“I’ve been picking up hours just to cover the bills that I have right now,” Dunaway said. “There’s not a lot of leeway. I would basically have to cover even more hours and won’t even be getting three hours of sleep. People are not making enough money for the rent to be this high.”  

A new report from shows rent in Rochester rose more than 11% compared to 2021, regardless if it’s a studio, one bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment. Local real estate brokers link this surge to more people stuck renting due to buying a home being harder to achieve due to high demand and pricing.  

“Landlords knowing they can get higher prices and landlords costs being higher as well so they have to make that up by raising the rents,” Josh Valetta, Associate Broker for Norchar Realty Group, told us. “Then the delay of construction has gone up. So all these apartment buildings that were seeing be built in Rochester, those landlords are going to have to make up for that additional construction costs.” 

With vacancies from rental units at the lowest they’ve been since 1984, power has shifted to non-local real estate investors purchasing more homes than ever before in the U.S. Then driving up rent prices due to less competition.   

“There saying we’ll I’m getting X amount for a two bedroom in New York City, why can’t I be getting close to that for a two bedroom in Rochester,” Valetta explained. “And they’re just going for it and getting it, unfortunately.”  

“They’re trying to triple what they paid for the property,” Dunaway added. “And that’s the reason now rent is sky high.”  

Economists and those in real estate don’t see this problem going away in the near future due to higher prices in rent feeding into the cycle of inflation. Which makes up 1/3 of the U.S Consumer Price Index. For a more in-depth look on this matter with affordable housing in Rochester compared to around the nation click here.