Private equity investor Mark Hauser understands that the past year has been difficult for many Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic and restricted supply chains have led to unprecedented inflation, which has impacted all industries - including real estate. Tenants are among the hardest-hit communities, as rental rates have drastically increased over the past two years. With inflation exceeding 7% in 2021, rental rates soared, with an average 13.5% increase across all markets. In fact, markets in Phoenix, AZ; Tampa, FL; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Las Vegas, NV; and Austin, TX all saw rental rates increase more than 20% year-over-year. However, the global pandemic and skyrocketing inflation are not the only reasons for the spike in rental rates, explains Mark Hauser, private equity investor, and fund manager with more than 35 years of experience investing in and operating companies. Private equity firms have also been a major contributor to the recent shift in rates.