HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Choosing the perfect place to live isn't easy, and apartment renters tell leading commercial real estate agency CoStar their top reason for moving is to find a more affordable apartment.
"The Hattiesburg market has been very favorable for renters as far as comparing that to national averages," said Southgate Realty's Chamberlan Carothers.
Southgate is one of the property managers of the luxury apartment complex The Lakes at Turtle Creek in Hattiesburg. Those types of properties are just one reason apartment rent is seeing an uptick, according to Carothers.
Carothers refers to those type of properties as A or B-class, which means they have the amenities of a home but in an apartment setting.
"Resort style pool, granite counter tops, full time fitness center, they're going to be more line with, comparable to home prices," he explained.
The second reason Carothers said rent is rising is because utilities are also rising, especially at the local level, including water, power and oil and gas.
"The expenses keeping up with these properties have jumped much higher than the inflation numbers are showing," Carothers said.
A Department of Numbers report shows the country's median gross rent in 2013 was $905. Hattiesburg comes in under that at $746, which is still above the state's median at $708.
"It starts with where wages are, and Hattiesburg is a very economical place to live," Carothers explained of the differences in standards of living. "We're also a growing community, so our wages are a good bit below where some of these major metropolitan areas are."
Being a growing community also means the need for more rooftops. Commercial property tracker Reis, Inc. predicts rent will rise another 3.3 percent this year, in the midst of a surge in apartment construction. That is slower growth than 2014, but Reis does not believe the trend will disappear anytime soon.
Here's a look at real gross rent over the last 10 years, according to the Department of Numbers:
- 2013- U.S. $905; MS $708; Hattiesburg $746
- 2012- U.S. $897; MS $676; Hattiesburg $728
- 2011- U.S. $900; MS $712; Hattiesburg $734
- 2010- U.S. $910; MS $715; Hattiesburg $746
- 2009- U.S. $909; MS $695; Hattiesburg $696
- 2008- U.S. $914; MS $708; Hattiesburg $697
- 2007- U.S. $875; MS $676; Hattiesburg $711
- 2006- U.S. $881; MS $675; Hattiesburg $712
- 2005- U.S. $862; MS $637; Hattiesburg $658