Property manager believes Lincoln rental costs will never come down

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The cost of land and housing in Nebraska has been steadily increasing, making it more difficult for anyone to find an affordable place to live.

“There’s a low supply, and with higher rents, it is making it more difficult for people,” said Lynn Fisher, president of Great Place Properties.

Fisher says increased property taxes and inflation have combined to rapidly worsen the situation.

“We’ve had to raise rates consistently over the last couple of years more than we normally do, and we normally raise rent every year, but much smaller amounts,” he said.

It’s not only prices that renters have been struggling with.

Fisher says it’s been harder to create a friendly environment and have a good relationship between tenants and landlords ever since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we have a little bit less of that personal connection now because everything has gone no-contact online,” he said.

While it’s impossible to know for sure, Fisher is hopeful we will see a change in the market sooner rather than later.

“With this most recent inflationary pressure that we see, we think that the rate of increase will probably slow down,” he said. “But I don’t think we’ll ever see a reversal, where we lower our rents or the property value.”

It’s not just cities that have been seeing rising rents.

“In part of our annual survey, we’ve seen cash rental rates, as well as land values, increase a fair amount across the state of Nebraska with the general run-up,” said Jim Jansen, an agricultural economist at UNL.

Despite the large price tag, Jansen says buying farmland has been a way for people to store wealth for the future.

“With COVID and some of the things we’ve seen with economic uncertainty, land has been a popular alternative for not just operators, but also investors,” he said.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability is hosting a quarterly webinar Tuesday at noon to discuss land rentals.

The two speakers will also give advice on landlord-tenant communication and how to properly manage leases.

The Zoom webinar is free and open to the public. You can register for the hourlong session here.

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