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“Buffalo Has 3rd Fastest Growing Rent in Nation”

Renters Pay $115 More Than Last Year

The most recent Apartment Market Report shows Buffalo apartment rents climbing steadily, compared to a relatively flat apartment market throughout the US. Obviously, depending on which side of the fence you find yourself, this news could be taken in a couple of ways. This is great news for those who continue to invest in Buffalo, by rehabbing buildings. On the flip side, more personal income is being dedicated to renting apartments. 

For many, the rising rents could signal the perfect time to transition to home ownership. Others might start looking at condos, but unfortunately the local affordable condo market is a joke. Due to the amount of tax credits that developers access, the market is a renter’s paradise, and a condo buyer’s worst nightmare. That’s partially because of the recapture period (five years) that a developer must wait out before transitioning a building from rentals to condos (see Warehouse Lofts). At the same time, most developers are quite content with their rental portfolios, and have not expressed an interest in converting units to condos.

Along with a smörgåsbord of other properties, real estate investor and developer Nick Sinatra recently purchased the Thirsty Buffalo/Village Beer Merchant building at the corner of  Elmwood and Anderson (lead image). He says that he is considering transitioning the former TheaterLoft (former home of Ujima Theatre) into loft apartments, which would be a good business move considering that rents continue to rise, more people are looking to move into the city, and Elmwood is a very desirable place to live. 

While Buffalo is seeing a steady increase in its rents, it must also be noted that this city’s real estate market was down and out for a long time. So it only makes sense that there continues to be a rise in rent across the board. Now that there is a resurgence in development, preservation efforts, the waterfront, etc., the upswing in rent goes hand-in-hand. Thus, the question remains, where will it take us next? Will we see parking lot infill to accommodate the growing needs of a regional populace that wants to move into the city and downtown? Will we see a shift of development to the East Side, where the word “gentrification” is bandied about so freely? Will the virtual workplace allow more people to relocate to Buffalo, bringing in high paying jobs? Buffalo is still an affordable place to live, with excellent quality of life standards, which makes it appealing for workers of all pay scales.

Buffalo also has four glorious seasons, close proximity to fresh water, it’s nearby to Toronto, it’s a very family friendly city, with incredible culturals and housing stock (and bidding wars). There are also new neighborhoods coming on-line, such as Larkinville and Chandler Street. Heck, even the Pierce Arrow complex is going to be a micro community unto itself. Same with Lancaster Square. All of these new and exciting projects will draw more people to live in Buffalo, which is more important than ever. With a new restaurant opening every week, we are going to need more urban residents to support all of the new eateries!

Here are the highlights from the recent Apartment Market Report:

  • At a national level, rents continue to cool off – the average rent went up only 0.1%, or $1, since July, but if we zoom in on the individual cities, the picture that starts to emerge is less rosy: a shocking 209 cities out of the 250 biggest cities in the U.S. saw annual rent growth last month – meaning 84% of the country’s largest cities; rents flat-lined in 31 cities and decreased in 10.
  • Buffalo continues its fast-paced growth: rents here have seen an 12.8% Y-o-Y increase, meaning renters in this city pay now $115 more than they did last year.
  • Mostly thanks to the influx of new units coming online, Manhattan’s rental market is slowing down. However, the borough still has the priciest rents in the nation – now pegged at $4,096 on average. In fact, renters could spend half a year in Wichita for less than one month’s rent in Manhattan.

See full report

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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