HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii renters are feeling the pain of the current housing crisis, with record-breaking rental prices making it even more difficult than ever to save for a home. 

The median U.S. rent recently surpassed $2,000 a month. In Hawaii, you are lucky to find a two-bedroom apartment for under $2,000 due to high rental costs.

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Lawn Love compared 185 rental markets to determine the most expensive metro areas to rent.

They looked at average rental prices, renters’ insurance and the percentage of renters spending more that 30% of their income on rent and utilities. 

Urban Honolulu has the highest average rent and is considered one of the most expensive metros areas to lease from.

Robert Silverman is a professor at the University of Buffalo and said rent increases are taking place across the country due to disruptions that grew out of COVID.

“There were fewer housing starts during COVID, so the demand for units was not being met by supply,” said Silverman. “Housing construction, maintenance, and related costs increased due to supply-chain disruptions and inflation in the economy.”

He also said homeownership has become more expensive, first because institutional investors were buying up homes and driving prices up, and later because interest rates increased the cost of homeownership.

“Now that COVID is ending, there is added pressure from landlords who want to raise rents since eviction moratoriums are over,” said Silverman. “Moving forward, the main challenge will be for local areas to find ways to add rental units to the inventory, especially ones that are affordable. Without bringing new units on line, there will be continued pressure to increase rents.”

For more information about rising rent in Hawaii and around the country, head to Lawn Love’s website