FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Apartments and rental properties are getting harder to find in Northwest Arkansas, and this has led to an increase in the price of rent.

Nick VinZant is a senior research analyst for QuoteWizard. He said in the last two years, apartment availability in Northwest Arkansas has dropped by 37%. Something he believes COVID-19 has a hand to play in.

“What we have noticed is people are moving out of larger cities and into more suburban areas,” said VinZant. 

Creating issues for those looking for a place to live and wallets of those already living here. 

“When you have a decrease like that, it creates an issue of supply and demand. Where because there is so much less of a supply, the demand starts to go up, and the prices go up along with that,” said VinZant. 

I ran into one Arkansan looking for a place to live, and he says it has been an enormous process.

“It’s been tough. I was online shopping for about four or five months before I got off three or four waitlists and found a place to move. If you’re looking for a place to live, you better get ahead of it,” said Chandlor Vance. 

VinZant tells me the average rise in rent across the natural state has been 4%. Evan McGinnis works with Smith and Associates Real Estate Services, and he said the rent increase has not been easy to explain to those looking for a place to live.

“I’ve got some families running around ragged. When demand is so high, it drives prices up to a level that is unsustainable for a lot of families in the area,” said McGinnis. 

I asked VinZant where he sees the rental market headed in the future. He believes as more people head for the suburbs, it will cause the rental prices in cities to drop, enticing people back to the cities causing everything to go back to normal.