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Real estate broker: Roommates to blame for climbing rents in Bakersfield

An apartment complex in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen Jan. 2, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Rent is rising yet again, and many would say it's far too soon.

According to Zumper, Bakersfield is now the 68th most expensive city in the United States to rent an apartment.

The city is now on par with Lexington, Omaha and Reno.

According to the study, one-bedroom rentals are up 11.8 percent year over year, and two-bedroom apartments are up 6.3 percent year over year.

Joseph Leon, local real estate broker and owner of Americana Realty & Investment, said rent is based on the economy.

"As soon as you start to lose jobs there's no demand, and rent will start to slip," said Leon.

But Bakersfield has lost a lot of jobs, and yet rent keeps rising. Leon attributes this to roommates.

Landlords and property managers have gotten wise to a growing trend of people living together and splitting rent.

Being aware of this trend, they are raising rent costs, because they know the hit isn't as bad to each person.

This line of thinking, of course, doesn't take into account those who live alone.

The average rent of a one-bedroom apartment in Bakersfield is now $760 per month.

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