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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver 8th worst U.S. city to rent a home, study finds

Portland, Seattle fare better on list; tight housing supply, high cost of living, rising crime cited

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: July 15, 2022, 6:00am

Vancouver is one of the worst places in the United States to rent a home — worse than Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and New York.

That’s according to a recent report from WalletHub, a personal finance website. To determine 2022’s best and worst places to rent in America, WalletHub compared 182 rental markets based on 22 metrics of rental attractiveness and quality of life.

Multiple data sources were used to determine the metrics, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Zillow and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Metrics included rental affordability, historical rental price changes, cost of living, job market and safety.

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for renters. WalletHub then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank each city.

Rankings only reflect the city-proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

Vancouver ranked 175, the eighth-worst on the list, likely because of the city’s tight rental market, high cost of living and rising crime rates.

Cities that scored lower than Vancouver include New Orleans, La., San Bernardino, Calif., and Detroit, which ranked last.

Portland came in at 126, while Seattle soared to 48. Columbia, Md., was rated as the best city to rent in the country.

Rental prices have risen significantly across the country in recent months. During 2021, they grew at nearly double the rate of any previous year, according to the Yardi Matrix National Multifamily Report.

In June, the nationwide median asking rent was $2,045 per month, according to a report from Dwellsy, an online rental marketplace. That number is based on data drawn from Dwellsy’s inventory of more than 641,000 available rentals.

It is the first time the nationwide median asking rent has crossed the $2,000 threshold, according to the report.

In the Portland metro area, including Vancouver, median asking rent in June was $1,695, up 0.3 percent compared with May. When compared with June 2021, median asking rent went up by 13.4 percent, or roughly $200.

While single-family rentals are driving rent increases nationally, in the Portland metro area, single-family rental and apartment rentals had the same increase in 12 months: up by 13 percent, according to Dwellsy.

How can Vancouver improve its lot? By building more housing, according to Jenny Schuetz, a housing researcher at the Brookings Institution.

“Building more housing in high-opportunity neighborhoods creates widespread economic, social and environmental benefits,” she said. “Regional labor markets function better when workers at all income levels can live within reasonable commuting distance of their jobs.”