NewsPrice of Paradise


Tampa Bay population growth expected to continue fueling housing shortage, rising rent rates

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Posted at 7:33 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 05:31:35-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Population growth and record-high inflation are expected to continue to fuel the housing shortage and rent increases in the Tampa Bay area.

“Tampa has experienced some significant population growth over the last several years and it’s really fueling a substantial demand for apartments in the whole metro region,” said Amanda White, Government Affairs Director for the Florida Apartment Association.

Just to put that into perspective, the population in the Tampa Metro has increased by more than 6% in the last 5 years.

That’s more than 300,000 people since 2013 and more than 40,000 new residents during the pandemic alone.

“As a result of the very limited supply that’s currently available for both single-family and multi-family, the average rent right now is $1,694 that compares to an average rent of $1,370 from roughly a year ago,” said White.


“I think it’s important to keep in mind that the crunch we’re seeing in the housing market, it’s not unique to the multi-family housing industry. We know that single-family home prices for example have risen over 29% in 2021 alone, so this is a problem that’s impacting both single-family housing as well as multi-family housing. You also have a situation where folks who would otherwise be in the market to buy a home are perhaps staying in their apartment longer which again is just fueling that demand for apartments that’s already continuing to grow rapidly,” she added.

The population growth and record-high inflation have contributed to already falling vacancy rates.

“So the vacancy rate right now in Tampa is 4.7% which that compares to 5.32% this same time last year so you can already see the decrease in the vacancy. To put that in perspective, historically the vacancy in Tampa has been a little over 6% so we’re really at a situation where vacancy is very, very low making it challenging for folks to find an apartment right now,” said White.

There just aren’t enough places to live for the number of people here.

“Roughly the Tampa area is building about 6,000 units a year right now and we have roughly 13,000 apartment homes in the pipeline at the moment. However, unfortunately, although this is a great construction rate we’re simply not building enough to keep up with demand,” said White.

Experts predict this problem will continue for a while unless people reach out to their local leaders about creating more protections for renters and passing rent control laws.

“Tampa’s population growth is expected to continue over the next several years so I think the key is that we need to increase our housing production. I think the important thing for folks in the area is to talk to their local elected officials and stress the importance of increasing the supply of all types of housing but specifically that affordable and workforce housing in the area as well. I think that’s going to be really key in helping address the housing shortage supply,” said White.

As Tampa Bay continues to attract new residents and businesses, the impact of living in paradise comes at a cost for all of us— from the increasing cost of housing and infrastructure to utilities and insurance. ABC Action News is committed to helping you and your family make the most of your money and navigate through the Price of Paradise.