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Inflation Is Rising the Fastest in Sun Belt Cities—Here’s Why

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Inflation Is Rising the Fastest in Sun Belt Cities—Here’s Why

Homebuyers who flocked to Sun Belt metros sent prices soaring throughout the pandemic, and rapid inflation is only exacerbating an existing affordability crisis

August 18, 2022
Phoenix metro aerial view at sunset
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Inflation is chipping away at homeowners’ disposable incomes all across the country, but those living in Sun Belt cities are seeing prices rise at a much faster pace than homeowners in more affordable regions elsewhere. Sun Belt cities like Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami, and Tampa have experienced price increases above 10 percent this year, soaring well beyond the national rate of 8.5 percent in July, The New York Times reports. 

Because housing is a main driver of inflation nationwide, homebuyers and renters have faced one of the steepest uphill battles in search of affordability. Rents are up 21 percent year-over-year in Phoenix, and in Miami, renters are paying 14 percent more a month than they were a year ago. 

Part of the divide can be traced to fuel and electricity costs, which surged earlier this year. Because many Sun Belt cities depend on cars and air-conditioning, those purchases make up a larger percentage of consumer budgets in the region. And, just as it did in 2008, housing is playing a crucial role — this time, through the rental market, which is a major contributor to overall inflation. 

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