Here at Milwaukee Record, we employ a sentient machine known as the Great Job, Milwaukee Bot to keep track of the city’s many appearances on dopey online lists, as well as any time a national publication deigns to acknowledges our pathetic Midwest existence. Recently, the infernal machine brought us news that Rolling Stone liked SummerfestThe New York Times thought Milwaukee was a “cursed sports city,” and something about fireworks. Today, in an decidedly sarcastic tone, the bot reports that Milwaukee experienced a 15-percent increase in rent from June-July 2016, ranking the city #1 for rising rent prices in the entire country. Great job, Milwaukee! beep-boop-boooooooo

Yes, according to Madison-based online apartment listings site, all of the lovely development and excitement and placemaking and People’s Flags that we currently enjoy comes at a price—namely a 15-percent jump in 1-bedroom rent prices in a single month. An Abodo infographic puts Milwaukee’s average 1-bedroom rent price at $880 in June 2016, and $1,010 in July 2016. Tailing close behind are Columbus, Ohio (13-percent increase), Colorado Springs, Colorado (11-percent increase), and Houston, Texas (9-percent increase). Cites that saw a decrease in rent include Charlotte, North Carolina (14-percent decrease), Oakland, California (11-percent decrease), and Seattle, Washington (9-percent decrease).

What accounts for Milwaukee’s hefty price increase? As pointed out in the Abodo study, as well as Urban Milwaukee earlier this year, it’s all about high demand and low vacancy. According to Abodo, “Milwaukee, which saw its vacancies drop from 5.6% in Q4 to 4.1% in Q1, had the largest rent hike in the nation for June, at 15%.” It continues:

“Fueling the nationwide trend of falling vacancy rates, about 36% of U.S. households—or 110 million people—lived in rentals last year, according to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Since 2005, renter households grew by 9 million—the largest 10-year gain in history, according to the JCHS—while home ownership continues to wane.”

Also included in the Abodo study is the fact that the “bulk of new renters—about 4.3 million—over the past 10 years were in their 50s and 60s, with ages 70-plus also seeing a jump.” Millennials accounted for about 1 million, behind 30- to 40-year-olds. whiz-beep-whir

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.