US Rental Crisis: Las Vegas Businesses Bear The Brunt

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US Rental Crisis Las Vegas Businesses Bear The Brunt (1)

As the United States grapples with the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new crisis is emerging, hitting small business owners and residents alike: skyrocketing rental prices. This issue is particularly evident in Las Vegas, where local entrepreneurs are facing steep rent hikes, threatening their livelihoods and the vibrancy of the city’s small business landscape.

The rental crisis, however, extends far beyond Las Vegas. Across the country, rental prices are surging at an unprecedented rate, fueled by a combination of factors including a lack of affordable housing, increased demand, and economic instability caused by the pandemic. This has resulted in a challenging environment for both residential and commercial renters, with many struggling to keep up with the escalating costs.

In the past year, rental prices in major cities like Las Vegas and New York have grown faster than the national average. For instance, in Nevada’s two largest cities, Las Vegas and Reno, rental prices have increased by 24% and 19% respectively, compared to prices a year ago. Similarly, in New York, small businesses are grappling with significant rent hikes, with some facing increases of up to 50%.

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A Double Blow

The rental price hikes have been particularly jarring for those who were already struggling to make ends meet. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, approximately 21% of renter households across Nevada have extremely low income, earning less than $25,750 for a household of four. With the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Las Vegas now standing at $1,250, many families are finding it increasingly difficult to afford housing.

The situation is further complicated by inflation, which has seen consumer prices for all items rise by 7% from December 2020 to December 2021, the highest yearly percent change in over 40 years. This has added to the financial pressure faced by renters, many of whom have seen their incomes stagnate or even decrease due to pandemic-related job losses or reduced working hours.

The rental crisis is also affecting those looking to transition from renting to homeownership. With home prices in Nevada’s two largest metropolitan areas rising by more than 22% over the last year, many potential buyers are being priced out of the market. This has resulted in an increased demand for rental properties, further driving up prices.

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A Grim Outlook

Despite the grim outlook, some experts believe that the situation could improve with the addition of more housing inventory. In Las Vegas, for instance, more than 6,300 apartment units were under construction during the third quarter of 2021, a significant increase from the 3,800 units being built during the same period in 2020. However, it will take time for these new units to come online and potentially stabilize rental prices.

In the meantime, renters are left to navigate a challenging market. For those unable to afford the rising rents, options are limited. Some are moving in with family or friends, while others are being forced to relocate to cheaper areas, often far from their workplaces or support networks. For small business owners, the rent hikes can mean the difference between staying afloat or closing their doors for good.

The rental crisis in the US is a complex issue with no easy solutions. It requires a multi-faceted approach that includes increasing affordable housing stock, expanding tenant rights, and implementing policies that protect renters from excessive rent hikes. As the country continues to recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic, addressing the rental crisis must be a priority to ensure that everyone, from small business owners in Las Vegas to families in New York, can afford a place to live and work.

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A professional with 23 years of experience in the areas of Business, Market & Financial Research covering both primary and secondary modes of research. Worked on and managed multiple projects across industries addressing businesses' problem areas, identifying growth opportunities, and presenting key consumer insights for FMCG, Pharma, Beauty, Health & Wellness, and Sustainability, across markets. Strong problem solving and training skills, competency in managing complex projects through large virtual teams across geographies. Current profile includes managing the entire project lifecycle with involving Client management, Team Management and Project Management


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Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

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