SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– It looks like houses aren’t the only hot item in the market. Springfield is experiencing an apartment shortage and a local property manager says it’s because of jobs.
“I think Springfield’s blessed right now with a lot of people moving to town because there are jobs available and as a result of that, apartments are the first place to stop to find a place to live,” said Lonnie Funk.
Funk is the president of Rolling Oaks Group of Companies which also operates Affiniti Management Services for several apartment complexes across Springfield.
“Is there a shortage? Yes, I believe there’s a shortage,” said Funk.
Funk says construction costs, low housing stock, and the responsibility for owning a home all play into people’s decision to move to an apartment.
“There’s a lot of scenarios that play into it and that’s why the demand for apartments is as great as it is right now,” said Funk. “The demand for apartments provides owners the opportunity to raise their rents.”
The cost of construction has increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t think you can build enough apartments fast enough to accommodate the demand right now,” said Funk. “If it costs you that much to build the apartment, you can’t turn around and offer $400 rents. It doesn’t cover your bills.”
Connie Bailey recently moved to Springfield to be near her family and says finding an apartment has been extremely difficult.
“I started looking in January,” said Bailey.
“I think a lot of people get forced into paying more for an apartment than what they can really afford to pay,” said Funk.
“It’s $900 or $1200 a month, so a single person can’t swing it,” said Bailey. “Rent’s never going to go down. I was amazed at what the rent went up here. I’m to the point where I’m about ready to go back to Florida.”