If you’re looking for an apartment in Reno, get ready to pay up. As our rising population continues to outpace construction, the price of rent is climbing ever higher. In her office at Johnson-Perkins-Griffin real estate appraiser and consultants, Analyst Sarah Fye puts some emotion on Reno's latest apartment affordability numbers. As she told us, "Prices are very high and there is limited availability. I know a lot of communities in town have wait lists, and it is difficult to get in somewhere."

Johnson-Perkins-Griffin has been putting together the quarterly Reno apartment survey for about 30 years now. She says the last couple of years have been downright startling, "Year over year, we're upwards of 5 percent. I've been doing the survey myself now for five quarters and its gone up pretty drastically every time."

The report covers 83 Reno apartment complexes, totaling 21,082 apartments. For 4th quarter 2014, our average apartment rent was $868. The just-released 4th quarter 2016 puts Reno's average at $1,066, a $200 rise in just two years.

A look at their Reno-Sparks apartment vacancy rate shows the rise in rents seems to be supply and demand. Currently it’s down to a very low 2.93%. A studio is even tougher to find at 1.92%. For all apartments, the lowest availability is northeast Reno with a tight 1.75% vacancy.

It's hard to be choosy all over town. There are 220 apartments at Reno's Balfour Place on Harvard Way, but they tell me only two are available. Local real estate developer Brian Egan is not surprised. As he told me, "It’s been shocking to a lot of people that have come to me looking for rentals. But I'm not surprised, because I've been watching it happen for the last couple of years."

Egan owns four apartment complexes, and some commercial buildings too. We met him at a building he just bought on California Avenue. He plans to rent out the ground floor, "And I think what I'll do is re-develop the downstairs..."

As Reno's economy expands and more people are hired, he says the demand for rentals should only increase. Gone are those apartment specials. As he told us, “There's a good example. The rents are jumping from the time when people were giving away a month free rent or signing bonus."

Egan says those specials are long gone...and the way things are going, there's more belt-tightening to come. They're just not building them fast enough. "The projections of job growth and the projections for new apartments coming online don't really match up, so there probably will be more strain on the supply of apartments, and I think because of that, the rents will continue to go up."

If you'd like to see the complete Reno Apartment Survey from Johnson-Perkins-Griffin, breaking down rents by size and neighborhood… click the link below: