AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new study on RentCafe.com says if you live in the 78701 zip code, essentially downtown Austin, you’re going to pay more than anyone else in the state of Texas for apartment rent.
At $2,658 per month, the downtown area edged out Highland Park in Dallas to be the most expensive rental spot in the Lone Star State. The average Highland Park-area rent was $2,503.
Many people we talked to here in Austin said hearing about the study wasn’t surprising.
“When we came here 4 years ago, it was affordable. It just seems to be going up every year,” said Christy Ingkavet.
Christy and Steve Ingkavet said they have been traveling a lot in the last year and a half. “Every time we come back, we see that rents have gone up again,” Steve said.
Just last week, the Ingkavets moved into a micro-efficiency unit at the 4th& condos in east Austin, less than a mile from downtown.
“There was nothing for years that we wanted to buy here until this was started to go up,” Steve said.
The micro-units are 512 sq. ft. “We call them Texas-sized micro lofts,” said Scott Sproat, director of marketing and project sales at Capsa Ventures. He said about 40 percent of the 4th& building are micro units.
“We took a chance a few years ago when we were developing the project, knowing that density is important,” Sproat said.
Four years ago, Austin’s elected officials did discuss how tiny apartments could bring more housing options to the downtown area.
Back then, Sproat said, “There wasn’t a lot of interest in a micro loft.”
But as rent prices continue to rise, developers and real estate agents are seeing an increase in micro units’ popularity, especially in areas close to downtown.
“We had two or three sign last week,” Sproat said.
“It’s nice to be in the middle of everything and have a unit that’s beautiful and meets our needs perfectly even if it’s smaller,” Christy Ingkavet said.
The study looked at rent prices in all 50 states. Out of the 50 most expensive ZIP codes, 26 of those were in Manhattan. Los Angeles and San Francisco have the most expensive zip codes in the country.