SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In Santa Clara County, rental rates are some of the highest they've ever been, and they're projected to go up even more in the upcoming year. That's causing many to wonder how much longer they'll be able to afford living in their homes.
"I came here with the Silicon Valley dream of working in technology and making a better life for my family, and it seems like the struggle is getting worse here," shared James Shehom, a San Jose resident.
Shehorn currently rents a home in San Jose with his wife and three children. He says their rent has gone up annually for the past three years.
"Rent is about $3000 a month where we live, and it's not a brand new house. It makes it hard to feed the family," he said.
According to a rent forecast released on Friday by Zillow.com, rental prices in the San Jose metro area are expected to rise nearly eight percent over the next 12 months, making it the most expensive rental market in the country.
Local real estate expert Tony Sum helps manage more than 100 individually owned lofts and condos in Silicon Valley. He says the numbers make sense, especially as more tech workers move to the area.
"As long as there are people who are willing to pay these high rental amounts, the landlords are going to continue pushing the rent up," said Sum.
Three years ago, one could rent a one-bed, one-bath condominium at Plant 51 in San Jose for $2,100 a month. Today, with its close proximity to shopping, restaurants and public transportation, that same unit now goes for around $2,800.
"I can't even imagine how much it'll increase in the next couple of years, so it's very concerning if I want to get my own place by myself," said San Jose resident, Jolise Limcaco.
And with no relief in sight, some wonder how long they'll be able to hang on.
"It's going to be a matter of time before most of us get pushed out," said Shehorn.