Vacancy rates drop slightly for the first time in 3 years

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that apartment vacancy rates fell just a bit in the 2nd quarter of this year nation-wide — down to 7.8%:

The national apartment vacancy rate stood at 7.8% at the end of June, according to Reis Inc., a New York real-estate research firm. That was down from the 8% vacancy rate during the first quarter, which was the highest vacancy rate in 30 years.

It’s just a slight increase, but it’s good news for property owners. Why is this happening right now?  One of the key reasons is that we’re not adding as many new apartments as we used to:

The lack of financing for new apartment construction over the past two years has constrained the pipeline of new supply that should hit the market in the next two years. The apartment sector, which added between 100,000 and 150,000 units annually over the past decade, is on pace to deliver just 60,000 units in 2011 and 2012, according to Marcus & Millichap.

As our job market keeps getting better, it shouldn’t be too long before rental rates start climbing back up!

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