Why this is important
The rental market is an indicator of housing affordability in the county.What the data show
The chart covers the last ten years and shows the average rent for 2-bedroom units in the five Dakota County Cities with the most population growth in 2013. The general trend is that the average 2-bedroom rental rate is increasing, but at varying degrees. Average rental rates in Hastings and Rosemount increased 19% (or $125) and 23% (or $186), respectively, while average rents in Apple Valley and Farmington remained stable. Countywide, the average rent increased about 12% (or $108) over the last ten years. This may be affected by the declining vacancy rate (see Rental Vacancy measure), meaning more competition for the units. Increasing rent is not unique to Dakota County cities. It also occurred in other major cities (San Francisco, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Seattle, Wash.) in the U.S.
The increasing rental cost is one of the contributing factors that cause many renters to be cost-burdened (paying more than 30% of income on housing related costs). According to a Dakota County Community Development Agency Survey report, an annual income of more than $50,000 was necessary in 2014 to afford an average three-bedroom apartment in Dakota County.