...not exactly. Since I last moved (some almost 15 years ago) rents have become ridiculously expensive where I live even, for studio not much less 1BR flats. I’ve been fortunate up to now as there maybe 3 rent increases (all very modest) at most at the place where I have lived all these years. Looked at one studio in town recently which was going for 675USD + all utilities (the ad said 625$ and nothing about the extra utility payments) which comes to nearly 800USD a month (not including about 110USD a month for transit to get to and from work). I make about 1,400 after deductions & taxes, which wouldn’t leave much for food, never mind 3D stuff. On top of it there is a 40USD non refundable application fee for “screening” purposes (which is nothing more than a scam in these days of the ‘Net)
Rents are a bit cheaper in the burbs, but one needs a car to get around out there as transit service (particularly on evenings and weekends) is pretty terrible. Don’t care to make my lengthy commute any longer than it already is either. Many of these places though are pretty much “slap dash” affairs with poor insulation, pasteboard thin walls, and baseboard electric heating (with the heating units conveniently located just beneath the non-weatherised windows). Consequently, any “savings” on the rent is greatly offset by high electric bills during the cold rainy season here.
Another issue that has come to light over the years is hooliganism which is actually worse in some of the orbital communities than in the city proper, as most of the gangs were pushed out of the city centre by all the gentrification and development. A night doesn’t go by where I don’t hear on he news about a gang related shooting or beating in what once was a fairly quiet “bedroom community.”
A lot of it all has to do with all the upscale development, gentrification, and speculation going on here in Portland (Oregon). There’s also a really annoying trend going on these days called “flipping”: where a house (or even apartment block) that has been foreclosed or vacated because of financial stress, is bought only to be turned around for a profit. This tends to inflate housing costs which is further exacerbated locally here due to the Metro area’s unique “Urban Growth Limit” that was imposed years ago to prevent “Los Angeles” type sprawl. As many lost their homes during the economic downturn they have turned to renting which has made it a “landlord’s market”. For example, at one apartment house down the block from me, rents were recently increased by upwards 200USD/month (causing a number of residents to move out).
So, in spite of being steadily employed for the last 17 years with the same employer (earning a decent though definitely not “upscale” living), I could easily find myself homeless because of where the housing market here is heading.