Rent decreases while cost of homes increases

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - If you're trying to rent an apartment, you're in luck, Zillow says prices are dropping.

But - if you're looking to buy a house, you may have a rough road ahead.

On Thursday 10/11 NOW spoke with an economics professor at Nebraska.

He says - all signs point to these changes being good for Lincoln's future.

It seems like everywhere you turn in Lincoln, you'll find for sale signs and open houses.

"We're seeing a lot of eagerness in our first time home buyers,” said Realtor, Karalyn Hoefer.

According to a recent report from Zillow, rent in Lincoln fell 1.2% over the last year, averaging just over $1,200.

But home prices rose nearly 8% averaging about $180,000.
And there's also more homes on the market.

"I've had several situations where we have had over 10 offers on a property that was listed at about $170,000, and we ended up selling for $25,000 over list price,” said Hoefer.

Experts say people are looking to buy houses for $250,000 or less.

Right now, there's not enough in that range - so the price is going up.

"That does say something positive about Lincoln's economy, and it's good for homeowners in a lot of ways,” said UNL's Eric Thompson.

Eric Thompson - the Director of Business Research for Nebraska- says it's a sign of a strong economy.

In fact, rent is actually going down.

"If the rents in Lincoln have stopped growing, and have stabilized and maybe have even fallen a little bit, it makes it a little easier for renters to live in the city,” said Thompson.

Thompson says it's another positive sign, showing Lincoln is growing.

Nationally, rent has declined on an annual basis for the first time in six years, slowing for the last seven months, and turning negative in September.