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South Dakota Leads Nation in Rate of Rent Increase

KJAM features the latest nationwide rent report from, which finds that South Dakota continues to lead the nation in rent increases. In July, South Dakota’s median rent (half of you are paying more, half less) was $1,209, 22.61% more than in July last year. Mississippi was the only other state posting a 20+ percent yearly increase. Those ugly July figures continue the sharp 22% rent inflation reported for South Dakota last fall., Year-over-Year Change in Median State-Level Rents, with list of ten states with highest increases, July 2023, retrieved 2023.09.05., Year-over-Year Change in Median State-Level Rents, with list of ten states with highest increases, July 2023, issued August 2023, retrieved 2023.09.05.

Nationwide, the July median rent was $2,038, a 0.31% increase over the previous July. South Dakota’s median rent is thus well below the national median. It is also lower than Minnesota’s $1,596 median rent and Nebraska’s $1,336, but higher than Iowa’s $1,160 and North Dakota’s $1,047.


  1. sx123 2023-09-05

    You better make $70k+ out of college or you are screwed.

  2. John 2023-09-05

    Headline should read: South Dakota Has the Greediest Landlords”. Fixed it for you.
    Next step, name names. Shame them, even when the cowards hide behind corporate facades.

  3. Jenny 2023-09-05

    To South Dakota for getting the booby prize on rent increases………….

    How’s that ‘low cost of living working’ out for ya?
    First for rent hikes
    Last for Wages.

  4. Jenny 2023-09-05

    Mississippi and South Dakota are long lost brothers, they like to stick together in all these rankings.

  5. Algebra 2023-09-05

    this is the result of immigration. It doesn’t matter if the new arrivals are from Mozambique, Malaysia, Mexico or Minnesota, whenever there is an influx of immigrants, rents go up and wages go down, as the new arrivals compete for housing and jobs. Black, yellow, brown or white, it doesn’t matter what color the immigrants are, the effects are the same: rents up, wages down.

  6. John 2023-09-05

    The Fed, for increasing interest rates more than needed, longer than needed, and the greedy landlords may well usher in the next recession. The US cannot go about 12-15 years without a recession. The recession is usually caused by the greed cycle, and a recession is corrective.
    The empty urban office buildings – are the prompt for the oligarchs cries to the workers to get back to the office, will soon reduce the value of urban commercial real estate. The US commercial real estate, like the malls and retail, are over-built – they built for the economy of the last century.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-09-05

    South Dakota’s current Republican governor wants to restrict land ownership by “countries that hate us.” Fact is, of the 195 countries on the planet most them probably hate us but many have parts of the trillions stashed in the state’s banks and trusts anyway.

    Probably not coincidental to Mrs. Noem’s political grandstanding is the flight of talent from the state and calls by its entire congressional delegation to ease immigration rules. Noem’s christianic religionists are apparently void of any compassion and choose to blame Democrats for inflation as labor shortages drive wage increases. It’s hypocritheocracy on meth.

  8. O 2023-09-05

    Rental properties are the hot investment for investment/equity firms. Like much of our economy, this sector is driven by returns for the investors; yet another example of how worker/labor interests are being subverted for investor interests. How many ways can workers be mined for profit so that investors can harvest those profits? With our commonsense regulation and taxation policies, the income disparity caused by economic elements like this will continue to redistribute wealth to only the top 1% (the investor class).

  9. O 2023-09-05

    sorry without — not “with our”

  10. jerry 2023-09-05

    Algebra is correct! Immigrants have caused a whole bunch of problems since just before 1492.

  11. John 2023-09-05

    Hahahahaha, yes waves of immigrants are flooding into our HOAs and taking over our McMansions.

  12. O 2023-09-05

    Jerry FTW!

  13. cibvet 2023-09-05

    Never blame the landlords,instead blame the people they are fleecing.

  14. Dicta 2023-09-05

    Algebra: that is a reductive, simplistic take. Immigration numbers aren’t even the highest they’ve ever been (look in the 80’s). A better answer:

    1. Some is attributable to immigration
    2. A growing portion is those individuals working remotely moving out of the big cities for the cost of living benefits.
    3. Homes owned by non-residents (aka investors) have skyrocketed, with over 1/4 of purchases coming from people who have no intention of living there.
    4. Historically low unemployment rates are bringing a lot of people here for jobs, thereby increasing demand.

    Come on, “It’s immigration” is such an easy, copout answer. It’s also a notion you could have disabused yourself of if you took the time to read up on the topic.

  15. Dicta 2023-09-05

    And yes, I saw you mentioned Minnesota, but your little wink and nudge “Mozambique and Mexico” makes me question what you think the source of our immigration issues is.

  16. O 2023-09-05

    I would also argue that young, potential first-time home owners have been pushed out of the housing market by price (especially by Dicta’s #3 above), interest rates, and current student loan debt. That leaves only rentals for their housing options, increasing the demand.

  17. Lakkan 2023-09-05

    No surprise, but shameful. Certainly what the city lets slumlords get away with renting to the college crowd for example. Shacks one wouldn’t let his dog live in.. Been watching both for 20 years and it gets only worse, worse, unchecked. A crying shame once you’ve seen what they’re allowed to rent out and charge for. Wonder who, other than the land “lords” profits.

  18. Jet Johnson 2023-09-05

    I attended a mayoral and city council debate in Rapid City in 2017 or 2018. I pointed out the future was coming back then, and those pleas fell on deaf ears.

    This state never plans ahead. People can get into private equity or a dozen other things, but the underlying problem is always going to boil down to supply and demand. People, mostly conservative retirees from more liberal states (particularly CA, OR, WA, MN, and CO) are flooding this town and are economically useless beyond their existence as consumers. The trend became evident some time ago.

    They do not have kids in school and will always fight for lower property taxes and vote against anything that could contribute to their own costs increasing for the benefit of public schools. I don’t blame them necessarily, all people can be counted on to act in their own material self interest. However, these people are largely unsuitable for employment and the type of support they require tend to create only minimum wage or low-paying, unskilled labor.

    They also sold their expensive properties, likely for tidy, tax free profits (remember that the IRS does not require you to include up to about $300,000 in net income for selling your primary domicile as a single person or about $600,000 for a married couple) and used those profits to outspend locals, usually by some distance. When I had issued those warnings to the council candidates, housing prices were roughly half what one would expect to pay now. Rents, of course, were lower, although not by much. However, “back then” (although only 5-6 years ago) no one would consider renting in Rapid City really because one could just as easily buy a house and expect the mortgage payment to be lower than a rent payment.

    Now, its something like $1200 to live next to the Walmart on North LaCrosse, which isn’t exactly a nice quiet area. You can get an apartment here for less than $1,000 a month but it is going to be quite dingy.

    Rapid City and Sioux Falls specifically need to wise-up. Open your eyes and look around the world. Notice anything? Notice how South America, Asia, Australia–shoot, even Canada–they all build up instead of out? There’s a reason for that. I’m not saying the state should cover itself in high-rise apartments and condos. But what I am saying is that some balance would be nice. It would allow for centralized resources, make downtowns nicer, and reduce municipal spending on things like roads.

    The only way to deal with spikes in demand like this are to increase the supply. Or reduce the demand. But the former is easier than the latter.

  19. Dicta 2023-09-05

    I am one of them, O. Even with a scholarship, my student loan debt is substantial. I grew up being told that college was the way out of the poverty I grew up in. It has helped me get jobs, but a substantial portion of that income goes to pay down debt that I couldn’t even discharge in bankruptcy without the most extreme circumstances imaginable. When my parents were around college going years, you could pay for school yourself working part time. It was that cheap. Not anymore. Average student debt in 1970 was a little over $1k, source: Bloomberg Business at Now, it is over 30k. But what about inflation, I hear you ask. Adjusted for inflation, 1970’s student loan debt would be roughly $8k today. School is roughly 4 times more expensive for kids today than it was then.

    Thanks, Boomers!

  20. larry kurtz 2023-09-05

    South Dakota is always behind in something but New Mexico is the worst state in the US to live according to WalletHub yet rent in Santa Fe makes that in Spearditch and Rapid look paltry.

    Short-term rental ordinances can hedge supply shortages and that’s happening in the urban centers East River and in the Black Hills communities.

  21. Donald Pay 2023-09-05

    When you count on the market to supply the necessities of life, you are counting on dying. Look, you don’t count on the market for food. It’s largely socialized. Every modern country has many ways to subsidize food. Also, water and sewage service are largely socialized. Your primary modes of transportation are socialized in many ways. The market used to provide housing for most people. That market is failing, The market can’t provide housing at affordable rates for more and more people. Part of that is that wages have failed to keep up with costs of housing and other necessities. That’s just the truth. Either you are going to have socialized or subsidized housing, or you are going to have rising costs, homelessness and increased crime. You choose.

    Bulding up? Yeah, that’s good, but it costs money. My town is seeing lots of taller apartment complexes. And the rents are unaffordable to most folks. And it hasn’t relieved our housing crisis.

  22. DaveFN 2023-09-05


    Correct, vis a vis rental properties and investment firms.

    Additionally, many apartment complexes in SD are owned by companies not in South Dakota. Someone would do well to look into how tangled this hydra really is.

  23. jerry 2023-09-05

    Reganomics, the rich hit the jackpot! “Forty-two years into America’s Reaganomics experiment, homelessness has gone from a problem to a crisis. Rarely, though, do you hear that Wall Street — the prime beneficiary of Reagan’s deregulation campaign — is helping cause it.

    Thirty-two percent seems to be the magic threshold, according to research funded by the real estate listing company Zillow. When neighborhoods hit rent rates in excess of 32 percent of neighborhood income, homelessness explodes. And we’re seeing it play out right in front of us in cities across America because a handful of Wall Street billionaires want to make a killing.” The Hartman Report

    We cannot blame immigrants, but we can blame republican deregulation thinking and that thinking is still sinking our boats. Man, remember when you could actually use South Dakota airports in places other than Rapid City and Sioux Falls? We even had railroads.

  24. grudznick 2023-09-05

    Still below average cost, but landlords building swanky pads for the folks flocking here for Freedom is driving the uptick. You can’t argue with Gov. Noem’s success but you can grumble right along with grudznick about the out-of-staters moving here. And you can make money by being a landlord.

  25. O 2023-09-05

    Jerry’s points are well-taken. Because rentals are being used as investments, that income is taxed at a lower rate than wages — if taxed at all under the carried interest loopholes or deferred multigenerationally/indefinitely. Again, rates are not set according to occupancy rates or factoring in regional incomes; rates are set to maximize investment returns – returns that need to beat other investment returns to stay competitive in the investment market. It is the subprime housing market bubble 2.0.

  26. jerry 2023-09-05

    O, so what would happen if we had a state income tax here?

  27. O 2023-09-05

    I imagine SD would pass through all the current federal loopholes to the state level and tax those not rich enough to have alternative to wage incomes.

  28. jerry 2023-09-05

    State income tax may make the housing less attractive for investors and more attractive for income based housing, in my view.

  29. LCJ 2023-09-05

    Depending on what you look up, SD is still between 2nd and 6th lowest rent.
    Time to quit gnashing your teeth and ripping your hair out of your thick skulls.

  30. larry kurtz 2023-09-05

    Argh, you stupid democrats preaching social justice where cops should just execute kids who don’t conform to republican standards.

  31. P. Aitch 2023-09-05

    South Dakota isn’t for people that can’t afford to own a house or two. Git!!!

  32. Bob Newland 2023-09-05

    Wasn’t it just last week that marijuana was the problem?

  33. M 2023-09-05

    Slumlords who rent S.D. Housing are making a fortune off renters and everyone of us. In Mobridge, one slumlord has 30 homes, many that were bought through auction from those who couldn’t afford their taxes. Get the house for 20K, turn it into a 3-4 bedroom, doesn’t have to have air-conditioning or window treatments and receives $1200 a month from Housing and around $200 from renter. Let the house fall apart, then put a new roof on and raise the rent. Renters don’t complain because there is a shortage of housing and they’re afraid to lose their house.

    Rent keeps rising here because of the shortage of available housing. Slumlords are competing with landlords who have switched to B & Bs.

  34. grudznick 2023-09-05

    Clearly, as my good friend Bob points out, this rent rate straw horse business is but a herring. The real threat is the Demon Weed. South Dakota is hitting it out of the park with rentals. We just need to build more, and that takes investors and landlords.

  35. grudznick 2023-09-05

    Mr/Ms M, one might move to the outskirts of Rapid City instead of wallowing in Walworth. There one can rent some fine digs, indeed.
    Just sayin…

  36. P. Aitch 2023-09-05

    I have a friend who’s worked for HUD in the Housing Authority for a whole career. It’s BS to say that Section 8 will pay $1200 for a dilapidated house rental. Every rental is inspected continually as are the voucher recipients. A job is required and so are standards for property rentals.
    She says things were a lot smoother with much less wasted money before Trump’s HUD Secretary Benny Carson was given the keys to the program. They’re still trying to dig the truck out of the ditch over at HUD; now with fewer staff being paid more of our taxes.
    Just ask grudzie. He’s been on welfare his whole life. Huh, pack rat?

  37. grudznick 2023-09-05

    Money falls out of the trees…this is true. I don’t even know where it all comes from, it just appears. Like most welfarians, grudznick wants for little.

  38. Richard Schriever 2023-09-05

    Algebra; SD is 21st in immigrants (foreign born residents) per thousand population in the US states. Mississippi is #35. Iowa is #30. New York is #49. North Dakota #31, Wisconsin #34, Minnesota #41, Arkansas #14, Michigan #43, and Indiana #17. There is no correlation between immigration and rental rate increases. None.

  39. O 2023-09-06

    LCJ, you contend that SD has some of the lowest rent; can workers making what they make in SD afford those rents? It seems much of the discussion is deliberately avoiding the affordability issue. six123’s original post must be addressed, what does a SD worker have to make to afford $1209 a month? Is that wage being paid? That is more than 1/3 of what a new teacher makes (after taxes), so is that reasonable rent? Is the “average” wage earner in SD making $22.00 an hour? Wages CERTAINLY are not rising at the rate rent is; that is a dramatic loss of spending power over a year in SD.

  40. jerry 2023-09-06

    sx123 says teachers must make $70,000.00 a year after graduation. I agree. How else can they afford to live in these South Dakota towns with the high rents.

  41. John 2023-09-06

    NYC is finding novel ways to hamstring short-term rentals to preclude them from becoming de facto motels.

    ” Under the new system, rentals shorter than 30 days are only allowed if hosts register with the city. Hosts must also commit to being physically present in the home for the duration of the rental, sharing living quarters with their guest. More than two guests at a time are not allowed, either, meaning families are effectively barred.

    Platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and others are not allowed to process rentals for unregistered hosts – and as of early this week, very few had successfully registered. The city says it has approved just under 300 of the more than 3,800 applications received.

    Officials and housing advocates who had pushed for the restrictions say they are necessary to stop apartments from becoming de facto hotels.”

  42. grudznick 2023-09-06

    Mr. John, that seems like a path that places in the Black Hills of South Dakota should take.

  43. M 2023-09-07

    P. Aitch, if you are anywhere near Mobridge, please come visit the southeast side of town, along with the bed bug infested Brown Palace Apartments. I clean one S.D. Housing rental that had GF&P come remove skunks living under the front porch. You have no idea what inspectors pass in this town, and I challenge you to come visit, I’ll do the tour. I can also tell you how little square footage is necessary to turn a dump into 3-5 bedrooms, even some in basements with crawl spaces. Easy to pack 3 adults and 3 kids in a 550 square foot dump with one bathroom. Don’t discredit what I’ve seen for 30 years from some friend who works in another state, county, or town.

    Also, P. Aitch, there are even worse dumps that don’t go through housing so some exchange rent for “favors” and you can use your imagination for that. This is perhaps too much for your puritan mind to digest but hopefully you’ll visit and see real life in a small town.

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