TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Rent prices around the Tampa Bay area are going up as fast as new apartment complexes.

University of South Florida economics instructor Chris Jones says buyers are being priced out of the housing market, turning to rentals and driving up apartment costs.

“If home prices are going up faster than your income, what that means in real dollars is that you’re losing purchasing power, so, you become less and less able to afford the residence you’re in,” he explained.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tampa increased 38% since last year, according to Zumper National Rent Report. The report says renters are paying an average of $1,600.

“This can’t go on long term,” Jones said.

He predicts the rates won’t last through the end of 2022.

“I don’t see this as a new normal. Do I think we’re going to see a massive 30% to 40% contraction on home values to the degree back in 2008-09? No,” Jones said. “I don’t think it’s going to dip that much, but 10% to 15% over the next 24 months, I think, is real.”

He says the number of new apartment complexes being built will eventually saturate the market and help with the correction.

He expects costs won’t start coming down until the second half of 2022.