UNITED STATES—Pandemic rent protections are ending in California. This will come as a welcome relief to landlords across the state. Many people have struggled to hang onto the properties they own while paying their bills because of tenant protections. Unfortunately, this is going to seriously disadvantage those tenants still struggling to make rent.

It does not help that renting, especially in the Valley, has become extremely expensive. Rent is rising across the country, but some regions are, as always, rising at much higher rates. The Valley may soon become unaffordable for some of its current residents.

There are also other expenses to consider. Costs are rising in California, including gas, groceries, and renters insurance, which accounts for another monthly expense.

Why is renting in the Valley now so expensive? Can we expect things to change or are prices only going up?

Pandemic Knock-On Effects

One of the reasons rent is so expensive in the Valley is as a knock-on effect of the pandemic. Tenant protections were vital, and helped many Americans avoid homelessness. But they did affect the pockets of landlords, many of whom rely on rental income to put food on the table.

Rent has gone up in order to cover costs, making up for sparse months during the pandemic. Landlords have been increasing rent for those who can pay, and now that protections are ending, will do the same for those who cannot.

The Affordable Housing Crisis

Another reason rent is so expensive in the Valley is because the whole country is facing an affordable housing crisis. Homes are more expensive than they have ever been, leading to many potential homeowners having to rent for the foreseeable future. As such, rental properties are in demand, leading to higher prices. This is unlikely to change any time soon, as housing prices are still rising.

Inflation

Inflation is rising faster than at any other time in US history. This is because of a number of things, including the low interest rates available through the pandemic and the supply chain issues caused by both the pandemic and sanctions on Russia. Everyone is struggling to make ends meet due to the high cost of consumables. This includes landlords.

Rent is becoming more expensive because of this. Landlords are increasing their demands in order to pay the bills. Those with tenants who do not pay for utilities are having to raise their rent in order to keep up with more expensive bills.

Will Renting in The Valley Become Affordable?

There is no way of accurately predicting how long this trend will continue. Renting may only become more expensive as months, then years, pass by. However, there are reasons to be optimistic that prices may go down. High inflation rates will not last forever, and basic goods will return to reasonable prices. The price of housing will probably plateau sometime soon, and maybe even dip a little.

Furthermore, landlords will have to walk the line between meeting their own expectations and the expectations of their tenants. They may want to make up for lost income, but if tenants cannot pay their increased rates, they may have no option but to compromise, especially if demand does decrease.

Over time, the knock-on effects of the pandemic will also start to fade away. We are already returning to a relative state of normalcy, that would have been more apparent were it not for the Russia-Ukraine war.

Renting in the Valley is expensive for now, as it is throughout much of the United States. But rent increases can only continue for so long. The reality is that if masses of people cannot afford to pay exorbitant prices, those prices have to drop or everyone loses out.

If you’re looking to sign a lease at the moment, you will have to decide whether to accept a high rate or wait for things to get easier. Remember, however, that rent may not come down in the near future. Ultimately, your decision will have to take into account what you need and when you need it.