By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento rent is up 19 percent year-to-year, and it’s expected to keep climbing here and across the country, forcing renters to make tough choices.

“They told me, I think, a couple days before the lease was due to be renewed, ‘We want you to pay $1,950 a month,” Krystal Guerra said.

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A $400 increase forced Krystal to move.

According to Realtor.com, nationwide, rent prices are up nearly 20 percent (19.8%), compared to last year. It shot up to a median $2,064 a month. Even a studio apartment is now going for $1,939.

What’s behind the big jump? More demand than supply.

“We see that there’s low vacancy, and so that means it’s renters that are competing for units and not landlords competing to have renters fill their units,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist with Realtor.com.

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Experts do think prices will soon stabilize.

“We do expect these pace of growth to slow down, that means rents will still be at a pretty high level and growing just said, a closer to normal pace of growth,” Hale said.

Krystal couldn’t find an affordable place, and she’s now moving in with her boyfriend much sooner than expected.

“We’re excited to kind of test that and see how it’s going, but also it’s one of those things where we recognize that it wasn’t the way we wanted to do it,” she said.

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A survey shows 61 percent of landlords are planning rent hikes this year.