Many families started 2016 having to pay more for a place to live, as a new survey found that rents across California went up 7.6 percent from November to December 2015 and 4.9 percent over the last year with median prices of $1,500 for a one bedroom home and $1,640 for a two bedroom.
According to the Apartment List California Rent Report, California rents are growing nearly twice as quickly as the national average making it the fifth most expensive state for the month of December.
While San Francisco was found to be the most expensive city to live in California, as well as nationwide, with an average two bedroom price of $4,610, finding affordable — or available — rental properties in Turlock is also a growing issue.
Mary McLeod of Landlord Property Management in Turlock said they raised the rent on all their properties for 2016.
"We received a lot of 30-day notices at the end of December, but they've all been rented," said McLeod.
As of Friday, McLeod said they only had one property available for rent.
A search for rental properties in Turlock on trulia.com found 24 listings on Friday, a small number for a city with a population of over 70,300.
"There's just a huge shortage, especially of anything that's affordable," said Maryn Pitt, assistant to the city manager for economic development and housing in Turlock.
There are currently 800 people on a waiting list to rent an apartment at Avena Bella, the affordable housing complex on Linwood Avenue that opened in 2013, and 12,000 in Stanislaus County waiting to receive housing assistance from the California Housing Authority, according to Pitt.
Pitt attributes the housing shortage in Turlock to a number of factors: A high quality of life that attracts newcomers to the area, the large percentage of single family homes found in town , a high owner occupied rate and the influx of college students attending Stanislaus State.
The Vista student housing project, three four-story buildings with 180 units and 600 beds, scheduled to break ground on Monte Vista Avenue between Dels Lane and Crowell Road in spring, is expected to free up local rental units as students who once looked throughout Turlock for housing are drawn to the college-oriented complex.
However, the complex could be a temporary benefit to the rental market overall.
"If Stanislaus raises its enrollment cap by 1,000 people, then we're back to where we started," said Pitt.
In the meantime, the City of Turlock continues to look for ways to increase the number affordable housing units available for residents said Pitt.