Residential rental rates rise a rapid 12 percent

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Rental rates acround Minnesota have jumped at the fastest rate in a dozen years.

The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Housing Partnership finds the average rent in the Twin Cities is $979, a rate that increased 9 percent in the past three years. The biggest hike was in the average rent for two-bedroom apartments, which rose 3 percent in just a year, according to Marquette Advisors.

As more luxury units become available, the competition for affordable units becomes more intense. The Housing Partnership finds 97 percent of the state is experiencing a shortage of housing for families of modest means. In the metro, the average vacancy rate for affordable apartments — those renting for less than $1,000 — fell to 2 percent, down from 5 percent three years ago.

Affordable housing is in short supply mostly because of a lack of public and private funding for income-restricted projects. Of the 7,700 new rental units approved by the Minneapolis Planning Commission from 2011 to 2012, about 900 were considered affordable.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Daily reports the ownership of much student housing available for rent around the University of Minnesota is in a state of flux.

The newspaper finds that numerous buildings, complexes near the campus are either for sale or have changed hands recently. Because they work in the private sector, the sales contracts between developers are often negotiated privately.

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