The latest Property Manager Survey from Rent.com offers some interesting tidbits about the strength of the national economy: First, apartment vacancies today are no longer being driven primarily by job losses. Secondly, landlords feel comfortable enough in the national economy to continue raising rents at their apartment communities.
According to the Rent.com survey, the main reason for apartment vacancies today is no longer unemployment. Instead, consumers are buying homes and relocating to new cities in greater numbers, and this has become the main reason for vacancies in apartment communities across the country.
This is a welcome change from two years ago. Back then, job losses were the main reason for apartment vacancies. Since 2010, though, the number of property managers pointing to job loss as a primary driver of vacancy rates has fallen by 30 percentage points.
As the Rent.com survey says, this makes sense. Back in August of 2012, the national unemployment rate stood at 9.6 percent. By September of this year, it had fallen to 7.8 percent.
When it comes to rents, there’s more good news for landlords. According to the survey, 62.6 percent of landlords said that rents would rise during the next 12 months. A total of 72.3 percent of property managers said that they are planning to increase rental rates at their properties during this period.
— Dan Rafter