St. Paul is one of the country's hottest rental markets

Although still cheaper than the national average, supply issues are pushing rental prices up.

Renting in St. Paul is suddenly more expensive, with the city named as one of the top 20 in the country that has seen the highest jumps in average rents the past year.

Yardi Matrix's analysis of rental prices in February, as reported by RentCafe, puts St. Paul as having the 13th highest hike over the past 12 months in the U.S., with rent in the city 5.4 percent more expensive than last year.

The average rent was $1,155 last month, the study found, which means it's still a bargain compared to the national average of $1,306.

RentCafe says that St. Paul is one of several of America's smaller population cities that's seeing an unexpected surge in rent prices.

Yardi Matrix senior analyst Doug Ressler says this is down to a combination of economic and supply factors, with fast-rising house prices pushing more people into the rental market.

This, combined with a lack of rental property supply, is driving up rental prices. The Star Tribune reported that St. Paul had a 1.7 rental vacancy rate at the end of 2016, compared to a 2.7 percent average across the wider metro area.

Average rents will vary depending on what source you're looking at and when, but the Star Tribune's analysis pegs the average in St. Paul at $1,071 in Dec. 2016, which isn't a million miles off from $1,155.

RentJungle meanwhile says the average monthly cost of renting is even higher than Yardi Matrix's figures, putting it at $1,259 in February.

It estimates that the most recent peak for rental prices in the city was last June, when the average monthly rent hit $1,331.

RentCafe breaks down the most expensive neighborhoods in which to rent in St. Paul, highlighting Hamline-Midway, Union Park and downtown St. Paul as the priciest, with Macalester-Groveland, North End St. Paul and Payne-Phalen the cheapest.

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