Same cities, different rents, contrasting experiences: 'It's an exploitation'

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Same cities, different rents, contrasting experiences
Spoiler alert, the rent in Raleigh is high. In fact, for some, it's too high.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Spoiler alert, the rent in Raleigh is high. In fact, for some, it's too high.

"It's an exploitation. People can't afford it. I don't know how people are managing to do it," said Raleigh renter Ashlee Webb.

She and her children moved to Raleigh a couple of years ago after being priced out of neighboring Durham. "I've had to cut costs in other areas just to make sure my quality of life doesn't suffer so I can have some type of work-life balance and make sure my children are comfortable," she said.

Her comments come as a new report from RentCafe ranks Raleigh as the 12th best city in the country for renters in 2024.

"(Raleigh is) importing all these people and the cost of living is cheaper than where they're coming from. So it's affordable for them. But for the people that have already been here, it is a big change for us," said Webb.

According to Zillow, the average median price for rent in Raleigh is $1,900 per month. A decrease of $50 from 2023.

"I'm lucky that I was able to afford $1,900 and I lived in a decent apartment," said Raleigh's Brad Childress. He moved from a one bedroom apartment off Glenwood Avenue to the swanky Seaboard Station area just minutes away. "To that point, I don't know how most families especially living in apartments down here, I don't see how that's possible."

Compared to other metros, such as Charlotte, Washington D.C., and New York City, Raleigh rents come in much lower.

Childress, who has friends in D.C. and New York, respectively, said he's getting a deal in Raleigh with his new rent; especially now that he shares costs with a roommate.

"When (friends) tell me what they're paying for rent. It's pretty outrageous. When I hear those stories, I don't feel like it's that bad," he said.

Also according to RentCafe, 67.6% percent of Raleigh apartments are considered to be high-end.

"Every year they're saying you should expect to raise the rent," added Webb. "Does it cost you any more to do the things you need to do for you to rent this space? No! But you feel like you are deserving more money every year."