Money Minute: Rents Go Sky High; Netflix, Amazon Content War Erupts


The cost of apartment rentals is going up faster than the rate of inflation.

A real estate research firm says apartment rents have jumped 3.2 percent from a year ago. It's a simple matter of supply and demand. More young people are finding jobs and leaving their parents home or the group living arrangement they've been in, while the vacancy rate continues to decline. And experts say this trend is likely to continue.

Americans are much more optimistic about their personal finances than they were just six months ago. A newly launched index from the Consumer Bankers Association and AOL -- the parent of Daily Finance -- finds many of us have shaken off the slumber brought on the government shutdown last fall. Since then, the stock market has rallied and the nation's employment picture has brightened.

The content war between Netflix (NFLX) and (AMZN) is on. Amazon's Prime Video Service has won the latest skirmish, getting exclusive rights to the upcoming encore series of the Fox TV (FOX) hit, "24."
The 12 episode Jack Bauer sequel, "24: Live Another Day," begins on May 5th. Amazon also gets exclusive rights to all 192 episodes of the hit TV drama. Amazon recently won the rights to two other hit TV series, even though they may not appeal to same audience: "Downton Abbey" and "Spongebob SquarePants."

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 75 points Tuesday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) jumped 69, and Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 13 points, hitting its seventh record high this year. And the Dow is within 44 points of the all-time high it set on Dec. 31 last year.

Finally, Starbucks (SBUX) is responding to customer complaints and bringing back some menu items. You'll soon be able to buy slices of banana, pumpkin or lemon loaf cake. The breakfast market is heating up, and as Bloomberg notes, Starbucks wants to provide fancier offerings than fast-food competitors, without getting too fancy.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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Compared to Netflix, Amazon sucks.

April 02 2014 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"It's a simple matter of supply and demand."

Thats All!

April 02 2014 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a crock. Rents go up because they can. Simple as that. Landlords get greedy. And yes, 3% increase may be standard, but income is not necessarily going up 3% to keep up with it. I saw my rent go up $100 in less than a year That's almost 15% from where it was. Meanwhile, my income has gone down. Someone on social security that only gives you a measly 1.5% increase last year cannot afford rent increases that are double that.

April 02 2014 at 1:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

There isn't just one reason rents have gone up, but a multitude, especially in and around coastal cities where people with money like to live, and that isn't going to change.
Crime rates have gone down, government regulations , racial segregation haven't helped. Even if all white neighborhoods aren't as prevalent, concentration of poverty in poor, often black neighborhoods still exist.
And if a city gets more artsy, rents can go up.
And there's certainly stricter mortgage rules, especially in FHA.
So, if one wants to assign blame, blame rich and poor people. It still doesn't yet change the fact that the middle class pay a ton of their income for housing.
and cars.
Also, foreign investors have come into certain areas and bought up blocks of real-estate.
So, to just say its because of a kid living in a basement, just doesn't describe it.

April 02 2014 at 11:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to theycallmeroy3's comment

And all fuels supply and demand.

April 02 2014 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll add, its precisely why Eric Schmidt said, " GO TO COLLEGE.'
I know some of you hate Google, hate technology, and people of viable means,but going forward, with people retiring and not in the labor force, one is going to have to sharpen their skills. That college degree or advanced means of education is going to pay off, cause in about five years or less, there's going to be even a larger shortage of skilled educated labor.

April 02 2014 at 12:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to theycallmeroy3's comment

And they might even learn basic economics!

April 02 2014 at 4:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

I'm looking for a new place now...the cost is one thing, but the availibility is the big problem. Can hardly find anything decent that is vacant. Missed my window to buy, which was my bad.

April 02 2014 at 11:23 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment

Hang in there and keep looking and make offers. Yes you missed the very bottom, but it is still much better than normal. My daughter just bought a place this week and got a pretty darn good deal (not a steal). In a few years she will realize just how good she did.

April 02 2014 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How do rents increasing by 3% warrant a headline of "rents go sky high"? What a ridiculous article. A 3% increase from year to year is fairly standard in the apartment industry to keep up with inflation, taxes, insurance, etc. The reason that apartment occupancy and rents are rising is because the younger generation cannot afford to buy a home because nobody is working full time anymore! So much for the economy improving. Who wrote this article, Jay Carney?

April 02 2014 at 11:06 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fuss1's comment

Yep, in my area 3%-4% is the typical, year after year increase. The last 2 years has been almost 3 times that.

April 02 2014 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

More like people are losing their houses from a horrible Economy and having to move into an Apartment...Gotta love how the media spins this Economy !

April 02 2014 at 10:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bud's comment

Blame Obama, Pelosi, Reid.

April 02 2014 at 4:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Buying a house is already out of reach for many Americans and now rents are increasing faster than the rate of inflation while our pay increases are not! As neighborhoods continue to gentrify more and more poor and middle income people are being pushed out of affordable housing!

This trend will only increase the homeless are lower income people cannot afford to pay the rents and state and government assistance to help pay for the gap is cut! We need rent controls again instead of constantly looking out for the interest of greed! Every rental property you see now slaps the word "luxury" into its discription to justify outrageous rents! Give us affordable decent housing again!

April 02 2014 at 10:05 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to boston1936's comment

Rent control is an absurd practice. If landlords cannot raise rents, they don't have the money to fix things that break when all of their costs like taxes, insurance, and labor increase. Rent control apartments in NYC are often in horrible condition. I'm amazed that you Liberals scream if wages don't rise, but we need controls over the cost of goods and services. Any profit at all is considered greed. Do you want landlords to supply housing for people so they can lose money? Since you obviously can't afford to move out of your parents' basement, your best bet is to spend your life on the Section 8 program, with the rest of your Liberal voting buddies.

April 02 2014 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fuss1's comment

The Slum Lords like the way things are going....

April 02 2014 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Tom Harrell

For the last 10 years the Politicians have been Fighting and Arguing and Wailing about Healthcare and the Stock Markets and Unemployment and Benghazi and Birth Certificates and the "SOCIALIST HORDES" in our Midst and the Budget Defecit and Gay Rights and Same Sex Marriage.

All the While, INFLATION has been Steadily BLOATING the Cost of Living for all Americans and the Politicians have been curiously SILENT about it.--------------Not ONLY Silent but Deliberately IGNORANT about it.

They've convinced us that they have done so much GOOD for our Welfare and Security and Liberties that even WE haven't noticed that the Greatest ENEMY of our way of Life. "RAMPANT INFLATION", has been rising (out of Control) and Wiping Out any GAINS we've made in the last 10 years.

But then Why should THEY worry. They're all "INFLATION PROOF" with their 6 figure Salaries and Healthcare Benefits and Retirement plans and Expense Accounts and Political BACKERS. -------------

April 02 2014 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply