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Lack of units, higher population leading to rising rent prices in central Ohio

The Columbus Apartment Association say the city would need to build 14-thousand units a year to keep up with the population boom.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) - You can spot "For Rent" signs from time to time around the Columbus area, especially when it comes to apartments. But for those people who want to live in Columbus or its suburbs, finding an apartment isn't always easy.

David Holzer, with the Columbus Apartment Association, says occupancy rates are at 97 to 98 percent. The demand has created a wave of construction to try and meet the need. Holzer says the Columbus area is building about 8,000 units a year. However, they would need to build 14,000 units a year to keep up with the population boom.

Because the demand is so great, the cost of rent in the Columbus area is rising at about 4 percent each year. The website "Rent Cafe'" tracks the costs. Right now, an apartment around 800-square feet will cost on average $929 a month in Columbus. The average cost of renting an apartment in Westerville is $1,073 a month. Over in Dublin, the average sits at $1,396 a month.

The Columbus Apartment Association reveals that millennials are driving the market. "These renters aren't looking for acreage," says Holzer. "They're looking for tighter spaces with places where they can interact with other renters."

Added with the fact that Columbus is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, rent prices will likely continue to increase as apartment availability continues to shrink.