Low Vacancies, Higher Rents Keep Rental Market Booming
January 5, 2012
The apartment vacancy rate is at its lowest level since late 2001 as the rental market continues to soar, according to the latest fourth-quarter data by Reis Inc.
As demand increases, the vacancy rate for apartments dropped in the fourth quarter to 5.2 percent compared to 6.6 percent a year prior.
“Multifamily property has been the star of the real-estate sector for more than a year, generating profits for landlords but headaches for renters struggling with the economic downturn,” an article in The Wall Street Journal notes. “Demand has swelled from people being foreclosed out of their houses as well as those unable or unwilling to buy.”
Landlords are also raising their rents. Asking rents moved up 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, averaging $1,064 a month nationwide — compared to $1,026 in 2009. New York City continued to have the highest rent in the country at $2,876 a month.
Meanwhile, as the rental market takes off, builders are rushing to play catch up in building new units to meet the demand. In 2011, Zelman & Associates estimates that more than 173,000 units were started, and about 225,000 and 280,000 starts are expected in 2012 and 2013.
Source: “Apartment-Vacancy Rate Tumbles to 2001 Level,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 5, 2012) [Log-in required.]
Updated: November 30, 2020