RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — You may have heard that prices on rent are going down across the nation but things are not quite the same in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Craig Grove the owner and operator of GRT Realty in Brownsville said with more people needing to rent than available properties it creates competition, and with that competition, prices go up. 

Grove said for now – prices in the valley are stabilizing. 

“It varies greatly throughout the valley. The lower valley Brownsville area is extremely expensive for pretty much anything. San Benito is pretty affordable, up into Harlingen is relatively affordable, and the mid-valley is really pretty affordable, comparatively speaking. And then you start to see a little bit of an uptick again in the upper valley in the McAllen mission area.” he explained.

According to the fair market rent in Texas is $1,223 for a 3-bedroom home. 

In the McAllen Edinburg Mission area $1,141. 

In the Brownsville – Harlingen market slightly higher at $1,156. 

However, a quick web search for rentals in the Rio Grande Valley area shows most properties are listed above the fair market average. 

Teo Sepulveda, an economist with South Texas College, said housing prices are cooling off leading to some rent relief. 

“For people who are renting, they probably don’t have to worry about having their rental price shoot up to the moon, because the nature of the phenomenon of cooling housing prices does help stabilize rental prices,” Sepulveda said.

He forecasts some changes will come within the next three months.  

Sepulveda suggests working on building credit to negotiate rental prices with landlords. 

 “If you give them a good credit score to your agent, they’re going to try to find your good rental place. Now, you’re helping them all a lot and that way, they can find an easy way to drop the prices, and try to get the landlords to drop the prices,” he said.

“You can negotiate the rent, you can negotiate the deposit. If you have decent credit, and a good job, you’re usually in a good position, especially when there’s more inventory,” Grove said.

Grove adds that there is more competition in the market for a one or two-bedroom rental, which may not always be the best choice. 

“I would recommend that if you’re looking even if you kind of think, ‘oh, I can save money go with a two-bedroom,’ you’re actually not because proportionately, you’re going to pay more for a two-bedroom or a one-bedroom,” Grove said.

When it comes to the future of rentals, Grove said there is a decent chance that investors will need to reduce their rents as the rental market softens.

“I think it’s possible that we’re going to see a reduction in rents across the Valley over the next year or so.”