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Half of U.S. apartment buildings have dropped rents

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 10, 2009

My story today on the nation’s rapidly declining apartment rents mentions that half of all apartment buildings reduced rents in the first quarter of this year, according to real estate research company Reis.

That’s a startlingly huge number and it’s great news for tenants who can now negotiate for a couple months of free rent or other freebies. The company, which has been tracking rental data since 1980, has never seen anything close to this. And it seems that landlords have reacted unusually quickly to the economic crisis.

This graph tells the story better than I can:

Apt Declines Businessweek 2009-04-08.jpg

Reader Comments


April 11, 2009 11:32 AM

Since the Obama administration is stimulating the economy with more spending on Education, Health care etc., more of these apartments can be converted to hostels for students and health workers.

Cheaper apartments should be converted to house the homeless and those living in the new tent cities sprouting out all over the places.

Philip Kieng

April 12, 2009 6:30 AM

Here in Culver City, near UCLA/USC the rental market is still as expensive as ever. Seems like the only place that escaped the price pressures are college towns.

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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