Honolulu's rent prices are going up faster than anywhere in the country. New data shows an increase of more than double the national average in the last year. Prices that are making it tough for those living paycheck to paycheck.
Honolulu teacher Maggie Ballard is happy for her cousin in California. She's just not happy for herself. Photos of her cousin's new home just remind Ballard of how small and expensive her studio apartment is.
"His living room is the size of most people's apartments," said Ballard. "It's really not paradise because I'm killing myself just to live here."
Ballard says she's sacrificing quality of life to have a roof over her head. She says a move to the mainland might not be far off.
"I'm just thinking about the opportunities and the fact hat yeah I probably could get there an within a year or two get a home," said Ballard.
If Ballard moves out of her Moiliili studio apartment property manager Kawika Burgess says someone will take her place. And he says they'll probably pay more.
"There is a strong demand for rental properties here on Oahu and Honolulu in particular," said Burgess.
Burgess' company, Real Property Management Alliance, shows a 3 bedroom home rental in Honolulu is now nearly $2,675 per month. That's about $700 a month more than California and twice as much as the national average. That's more than a 14-percent increase from last year...a trend far ahead of anywhere else.
" I think the demand is going to continue,." said Burgess. "We read the population continues to grow faster than we are building homes here on the island of Oahu at least."
Burgess doesn't see the demand slowing down. "Not in the near term, not in the near term...that's for sure. I think we are expecting this trend to continue."
Burgess says in addition to rents near town being high Kailua, Ewa Beach and Mililani are seeing a sharp increase as well. Due to new construction, rents for now are holding steady in Kakaako and Kapolei.