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Apartment Vacancies Hit Record Highs

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 8, 2009

You’d expect with job losses rising and so many Americans losing homes to foreclosure, rental buildings would be filling up with folks who can no longer afford to be homeowners. Instead apartment vacancies in the second quarter rose to 7.5% — the highest percentage for that period in 22 years, according to today’s apartment market report from Reis.

It seems that people are moving in with friends and family, or are finding roommates.

Effective rents, which include concessions, fell 1.9% from a year earlier and 0.9% from the previous quarter.

Spring is normally a good time for landlords to find new tenants, so the vacancy increase is particularly distressing for apartment owners.

San Jose, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Orange County, and Seattle had the worst effective rent drops for the quarter, according to Reis. Birmingham, Chattanooga, Louisville, Norfolk, and Syracuse had the highest rent increases.

Reader Comments


July 8, 2009 5:00 PM

Maybe the unemployed moved from the high rent cities to lower rents?


July 8, 2009 5:01 PM

Well what did you expect when you start kicking the immigrants out of the country?


July 8, 2009 11:23 PM

Rents are one of several elements in the economy that remain too high. Food prices, home prices, fuel prices and rent all have to come back down to realistic levels. Unfortunately, Nobama and the super-duper-democrats (60 vote majority) don't have a clue as to what it takes to help jumpstart small business and consumer spending.

The one thing that gets me through the day is knowing the one slacker in my office who voted for Obama is being laid-off at the end of the month. Looks like the promise of change came without the hope.


July 9, 2009 3:34 PM

Higher apartment rents in NY is bogus. NY is boring. ALl you have there is opportunity to commit sin - hook up and have sex with someone from the bar.


July 9, 2009 3:37 PM

BW Reviewer, Keep in mind, just because you would have done this and most Americans do this - hook up and have sex with some one from the bar - doesn't make it morally correct. It is just a wrong, animalistic behaviour. So, please publish my previous comment.

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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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