Oswego rent predicted to skyrocket as more people move to the area

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Renting and housing prices across the nation are at an all-time high, even more so in New York state. An influx of new renters is consistently driving up rent prices, and many citizens aren’t able to afford the inflated price tags. 

In March 2024, the national median rent price was $1,380/month, and for Oswego County, the median was $1,322/month. With increasing numbers of people moving to the Oswego area and scarceness of housing, there is no sign of decreasing rent prices in the future. 

“The lack of inventory for housing has forced everybody into renting which has driven the rental prices up,” said William Galloway, broker-owner of Galloway Real Estate in Oswego. “There’s nowhere to go, so it’s just going to continue to increase.”

Since 1980, the average rent inflation in the country has been rising faster than the average currency inflation by about 1.27%. In New York state specifically, the average year-over-year rent increase for fair market rent has been 35%. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, about 10,000 people rented homes or apartments in Oswego in 2010, and an estimated 2,180 people were paying less than $500/month for rent. In 2022, however, there were 12,000 renters, and only 1,900 were paying less than $500/month. 

With more people moving to Oswego County and Micron Technology coming to the Syracuse area, rent prices are predicted to skyrocket. 

“We’ll be increasing like crazy. It’ll be pricing that we’ve never experienced,” said Galloway. 

Samantha White, a senior at SUNY Oswego, is currently renting a shared apartment at Lakeside Commons, an off-campus apartment complex affiliated with the college. She says it’s challenging for students and graduates to find affordable housing in this climate, and she doesn’t plan to rent again immediately after graduation. 

“I’m going to live at home with my parents until I get a job so I can afford to pay rent, but I’m one of the lucky people who are able to live back at home,” said White. “A lot of people don’t have that option.” 

White pays $835 a month for a four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment. At Lakeside Commons, electricity, gas, water usage, high-speed internet, and satellite TV services are all included in the monthly rent. 

“I mainly use student loans [to pay rent], because I didn’t get much from financial aid. If [Lakeside Commons] didn’t accept loans or financial aid, I wouldn’t be able to afford to live here,” said White. 

Brook Wills, a real estate salesperson at Galloway Realty, says expenses that go into monthly rent at most properties in Oswego County are the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, utilities, and location. 

“The landlord is supposed to cover the water and sewer,” said Wills. “And then the tenants have garbage, lawncare, plowing, wifi, cable, etc.”

To rent in Oswego County, expect to pay around $750 to $2,200 monthly, as only 6% of apartments charge less than $750/month. 

“The market dictates prices,” said Wills. “We’re developing with the rest of the country.” 

A common rule of thumb for finding affordable apartments is to spend less than 30% income on rent. Or, annual income should be at least 40 times the monthly rent. However, for those earning minimum wage, finding an apartment or house that follows these rules is nearly impossible. 

“I think the need for housing is so important and that’s why the rental prices are where they are in our market,” said Galloway. “This area is developing very well but there still is a huge demand for rental and for single-family homes.”

Based on all homes sold in the past year in Oswego County, the median selling price is $150,000, or $98 per square foot. Additionally, there has been an 11.1% increase in housing prices since March 2023, which is equivalent to a $15,000 increase. 

In 2023, the median sales price of homes in New York state reached $405,000, and the national median price was $416,100. These housing prices are incredibly disappointing for college students looking to invest in real estate after graduation and families who want to move to New York and Oswego County. 

“I don’t think we’re ever going to be able to fully own a house at this point with how the housing market is going,” said White. 

Oswego real estate professionals predict that the housing market will continue to grow non-stop in the coming years, and some economists believe housing prices will continue to grow but at a much slower rate. However, others predict a mild recession by early 2025.