TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Are you new to Tampa and or trying to find a place to live?  Turns out you have a pretty steep hill to climb with this current rental market.  But why, is the question?  

“One, we have lots of people moving to Tampa every day. We have more renters in the market than the supply of rental properties.  Two we have overheating of the market with homes and when people can not buy homes they are rushing into the rental market,” says USF Financial Professor Lei Wedge.

As of August, apartment rental prices have increased by nearly 22 percent since the year started according to Costar Group data.  That’s a real estate data firm and they claim there are no signs of it slowing down.

“The third thing is home values are going up like crazy so you have investors who invest in more expensive homes so they expect a certain rate of return and they raise the rent and four you have the old landlords who jack up the price and they take advantage of the situation,” says Wedge.

That high rent is leaving Tampa resident Ashley Thomas with nearly $3,000 in rent and apartment-related bills for her 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment.

“That is a lot of money.  I do reside at Manor and our rent has increased as expected.  But it’s such a nice area so I would do it,” says Thomas.

Thomas says her parents are supporting her so she can just focus on school and likes the idea that with rent she is not locked into her living situation as opposed to paying a mortgage.

“That means you would have to stay at that one place.  But if you sign a lease you have a chance of getting out and going someplace new,” says Thomas.