ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Rent prices on apartments in Albuquerque have soared during the pandemic. The city now ranks among the top in the nation for rent increases over the past year. The average rent for an apartment in Albuquerque went up from $937 last year to $1,014 this year.

Rent prices in Albuquerque are getting more expensive. “There is a great need for affordable housing in New Mexico,” Izzy Hernandez with the New Mexico Finance Authority said earlier this week.

In fact, Albuquerque ranks among the top 10 cities in the country for rent increases by percentage over the past year. That’s according to a new article by the New York Times. “Forty-four percent of renters are cost-burdened,” Hernandez said. “In Albuquerque, it is estimated that 49,000 units are needed for rental or affordable housing.”

The data from Apartment List’s National Rent Report shows that Albuquerque has seen a median rent increase by 8% from January 2020 to January 2021. Just this week, Mayor Tim Keller emphasized the need for more affordable housing in the city at the ribbon cutting for the Nuevo Atrisco Development on the westside. “This site here is about families in affordable housing, which also of course is one of our biggest needs,” Keller said.

The article said large coastal cities saw the greatest rent decreases, while more affordable mid-sized cities like Albuquerque saw the spikes. The report said that is because the pandemic and remote work sparked the demand for space and affordability.

The data shows that rent growth now appears to be flattening out, signaling a period of rent stability. The report also said rent growth happens here because of the low supply as more renters are competing for fewer available apartments.