Thursday, October 06, 2011

Reis: Apartment Vacancy Rate falls to 5.6% in Q3

by Bill McBride on 10/06/2011 12:04:00 AM

Reis reported that the apartment vacancy rate (82 markets) fell to 5.6% in Q3 from 6.0% in Q2. The vacancy rate was at 7.1% in Q2 2010 and peaked at 8.0% at the end of 2009.

From the WSJ: Landlords Push Up Apartment Rents

The vacancy rate for the third quarter, which wraps up the prime leasing season, fell to 5.6% from 7.1% a year earlier. That is the lowest since 2006.

The increased demand follows several years that saw little new apartment development. About 8,200 units came online during the third quarter, one of the lowest quarterly figures since Reis began tracking the data in 1999.
Average effective apartment rents, the amount paid after discounting, rose to $1,004 nationwide in the third quarter, up 2.4% from a year earlier ... In the third quarter, 36,000 net units were filled, down from 42,000 in the second quarter.
Apartment Vacancy Rate Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the apartment vacancy rate starting in 2005.

Reis is just for large cities, but this decline in vacancy rates is happening just about everywhere.

A few key points we've been discussing:
• Apartment vacancy rates are falling fast.

• A record low number of multi-family units will be completed this year (2011). Only 8,200 apartments came on the market in Q3 (in the Reis survey area).

• Multi-family starts are increasing, and that is helping both GDP and employment growth this year. These new starts will not be completed until 2012 or 2013, so vacancy rates will probably continue to decline.

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