Posted August 25, 2017 by RentJungle

Lawrenceville has been one of the hippest, hottest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for more than half a decade. Whether you want to snag a baguette at La Gourmandine (the best bakery in town!), are craving a smoked Kielbasa from Franktuary, or want to dance your heart out at Cattivo, Lawrenceville is bustling with fun and culture. Rental prices had been consistently increasing for this cool east end neighborhood, but in the past year, rental prices have actually dropped slightly, making it a great time to move to Lawrenceville.

Location Location Location

A neighborhood in Pittsburgh's East End, Lawrenceville is located along the south bank of the Allegheny River. With Highland Park to its east, the Strip District to its west, and Bloomfield and Garfield to the southeast, Lawrenceville is located in the apex of Pittsburgh culture. Across the 40th Street Bridge on the other side of the Allegheny River lies Troy Hill and Millvale.

Lawrenceville is long and skinny in shape, stretching along the Allegheny River. The neighborhood runs along Butler Street, a long road paralleling the river that is teeming with restaurants, shops, and nightlife.

Lawrenceville is divided into three separate sections. Upper Lawrenceville is the furthest northeast, wedged between the Allegheny cemetery and Highland Park. Further away from the main throng of businesses on Butler, Upper Lawrenceville tends to be calmer and more residential than the rest of the neighborhood.

Central Lawrenceville encompasses the heart of the neighborhood's main street. Located roughly between 40th Street and the cemetery, living in Central Lawrenceville puts you right at the heart of the culture and nightlife of this vibrant neighborhood.

Lower Lawrenceville falls southwest of 40th street, between Central Lawrenceville and the Strip District. Though slightly further from the hustle and bustle of Central Lawrenceville, there are many great neighborhood spots in the lower section such as Round Corner Cantina and Espresso a Mano. Up the hill, the Church Brew Works is an awesome spot to grab a pint with friends. Lower Lawrenceville is also the section of the neighborhood closest to downtown; it's central location making it an easy commute to many other parts of the city.

Each section of Lawrenceville has it's own rental market. The central location and proximity to downtown makes Lower Lawrenceville the most expensive of the three. The average apartment rents for $1657, making Lower Lawrenceville the seventh most expensive neighborhood in the city.

Central Lawrenceville is slightly more affordable, with rents averaging around $1264. The more residential Upper Lawrenceville is significantly cheaper, with the average rent coming in at about $902.

A Hot Market, Recently Cooling

As Pittsburgh's revitalization and cultural efforts have pushed the city into the national spotlight, rental prices in the Steel City have shot up over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2015, rental prices more than doubled in the city. In April of 2011, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh was only $772. By November 2015, average rent for a two-bedroom apartment had jumped to $1613. That is a 108% increase of rental price in only four and a half years.

However, in the past year there have been signs that the housing market is cooling. At its peak, the average rental price for a two-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh clocked in at $1645. That was November of 2016. By July 2017, the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh had dropped to $1467; an 11% drop in rental prices in the span of only eight months.

average-rent-per-month-in-lawrenceville-pittsburgh-pa

Lawrenceville rental trends have followed a similar trajectory. In February of 2015, the average rent for an apartment in Lawrenceville was a little bit more than $1100. Rents in the neighborhood steadily increased, reaching an all time high of $1600 a month in December of 2016. However, in recent months, market prices have begun to dip back down. Six months after that peak, in June of 2017, the average monthly rent of an apartment in Lawrenceville was around $1250, the lowest average rent for the neighborhood in nearly a year. Average rent in Lawrenceville varies dramatically month to month, but recent data suggests that we are seeing a downward trend in housing costs in this hip neighborhood.

As Pittsburgh's job market continues to rapidly expand, wages across the city have shot upwards. Studies found that after inflation, the average wage in Pittsburgh grew nearly 6% annually from 2004 to 2015. Though most of this income growth is happening in tech, health, finance and other parts of the so-called knowledge sector, Pittsburgh is one of the few metro areas that showed positive wage growth for low-income earners with an annual income of about $23,000. Employment and wages in the steel city are both growing at a rate that outpaces the national average.

Though faring better than blue-collar workers in other cities across the nation, low-income earners in Pittsburgh are still struggling with the rapid rise in rent. A stagnant minimum wage has left the lowest paid workers unable to keep up with skyrocketing housing costs. A research group in Washington DC calculated that a worker would need to work more than two full time minimum wage jobs to afford a two bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh, with a median cost of $822.

The city council's resolution to raise the minimum wage in the city from $7.25 to $12, as part of an incremental plan towards a $15 minimum wage, is certainly a step the right direction. Paired with these cooling rental trends, signs point to housing in Pittsburgh becoming more affordable again.



Posted April 18, 2016 by RentJungle
rentingvsbuyingEach generation is defined with traits and characteristics that are result of the time they grew up. Baby Boomers experienced the moon landing, the Cold War, and Woodstock. Generation X saw the OJ Simpson trial, the wide use of personal computers, and Live Aid. Millennials grew up during the time of the 9/11 attacks, introduction to social media, and the popularity of reality of TV. Some differences between the generations are obvious like how Millennials prefer electronic communication while Baby Boomers like to have hard copies. While others are less apparent such as why Baby Boomers are more loyal to employers and Generation X is more loyal to their professions.

When it comes to renting and buying homes, each generation has different preferences as well. In the 1970s, couples usually only rented for about 2.6 years before buying their first home. Nowadays, the median age of first-time home buyers today is around 32.5 years old. To put that in perspective, this means that for roughly 14.5 years Millennials are either renting or living with family after they graduate high school.

In another aspect, Millennials are different from Generation X as well. In the 1980s, around 52% of first-time home buyers were married. Today, only 40% of people buying their first house are married.

Not everything has changed over the years, the median income for first-time home buyers has been around $54,000 (adjusted for inflation) since the 1970s. But there is a major difference in how much they are spending on their first house in relation to that income. In the 1970s, people spent around 1.7x their annual income while today they spend about 2.8x their annual income. This may explain why 58% of people share buying single-family homes.

Overall, each generation has its own struggles, strengths, and experiences that shape the world they live in. It will be interesting to see where Generation Z takes us and how they will handle the renting/buying process.


Posted February 01, 2016 by RentJungle
Highways Agencys Images are protected by copyright. This Image cannot be used without a license agreement. You must comply with the license applicable to the reproduction of this Image. Terms and Conditions at www.photos.highways.gov.ukIt's a fact that moving in the winter when the demand is lower gives you the upper hand when it comes to scoring a hot deal on your dream apartment. It may be a bitter, cold time to search for a pad, but the savings are well worth the dropping temps.

So if you're one of the smart ones who jumped on landing an apartment during the colder months, here are a few tips to reduce the stress and mess of a winter move:

1. Keep checking the weather

We all know that winter weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to keep a watchful eye on the weather reports. Check it every week leading up to the move and every day the week of the move. It's also important to check the traffic reports and plan a couple routes to your new apartment. Are you using a moving company? If you are concerned about the weather hindering your movers, don't hesitate to give them a call and express your concerns. Delaying the move might be the best course of action. Remember, safety is the best policy here.

2. Get your vehicle ready

Whether you a trekking across multiple states or moving 30 minutes from home, make sure your car is in good condition for winter weather. Make sure your vehicle has been serviced at least a month before the big moving day to minimize any possibility of breakdowns or accidents during the relocation journey. Before you hit the road, make sure you've loaded the necessary winter accessories in your car such as winter-ready wipers, a snow shovel, ice scrapers, salt, warm blankets, jumper cables, and a fully charged cell phone!

3. Cover your floors

Make sure your new apartment stays clean and your carpet and hardwood floors are protected while people are moving boxes in and out. The last thing you want is excess water that clings to the boxes and your shoes on the floors. It's also a good idea to lay floor mats down at every outside door. Not only will covering your floors keep your new apartment clean and tidy, it will prevent injury from slippery surfaces.

4. Double pack fragile items

If you haven't heard of imove, it's about time you did. They have built partnerships with professional moving companies to help you find the best quote and most reliable mover in your area. They recently had this to say about moving fragile items during the winter season:

"Many things that are delicate or extra fragile become more brittle in cold weather. Help your movers out by double packing your fragile items so they're less likely to break while moving. Also remember: any items that can be damaged by cold should not be packed in the truck. The truck may sit out overnight, which could cause more damage than you hoped for."

5. Dress smartly

Dressing in layers is the best way to prep for a day of unloading and lifting heavy boxes. If you start to overheat from the constant lugging and stair climbing, you can always shed clothing to keep cool. Extra pairs of gloves and waterproof boots are also two very important things to have on moving day for you or any helpers who may need a spare.

Moving in the winter can sound like a daunting task, but with some planning and consideration, you can make it an ideal move despite the weather!

(Photo credit: Highways England, Flickr)


Posted January 04, 2016 by RentJungle
There are many factors that go into choosing a place to live. Career opportunities, affordable housing/rent, public transportation, safety – the list could scroll to the bottom of the page! But what about choosing a city based off its friendliness? Yep, you heard us correctly. For the third year in a row, Conde Nast Traveler asked their loyal readers to rate a city's friendliness with respect to whether they felt welcome or not.

nashville- We couldn't resist sharing the findings with you, in hopes that current and future apartment hunters will consider adding "friendliness" to their list of factors when choosing their next place to live.

The Top 10 Friendliest Cities:

1. Park City, Utah- "A great place that brings city life to outdoor enthusiasts, film geeks, and families."

2. Savannah, Georgia- "Bubbling with Southern charm, the locals of Savannah are so welcoming and hospitable, fun and talkative you'd think it was an act. (It's not.)"

3. Charleston, South Carolina- "From the many choices of things to do (or simply doing nothing at all) to the laid-back but sophisticated atmosphere, there is really no way not to have a good time here."

4. Nashville, Tennessee- "It's a city of characters and the vibe of downtown is hard to beat. We came on vacation and never left."

5. Austin, Texas- "Austin is quirky and fun and rich with Texas charm."

6. Sante Fe, New Mexico- "A world-class foodie scene, spiritual scenery, and peerless vibe."

7. Asheville, North Carolina- "Great mountain scenery and friendly people. Always a smile from those you meet."

8. Jackson, Wyoming- "The people are friendly and the views are out of this world. It's a genuine taste of the original American West."

9. New Orleans, Louisiana- "This is truly a place meant for enjoying life. Extraordinary sensory experiences at every turn, and it seems as if everyone WANTS you to have a good time."

10. Burlington, Vermont- "The place always has something going on and it's super clean!"

There you have it. Conde Nast Traveler's 10 friendliest cities, cherry-picked by the fans themselves. On the contrary, the 10 unfriendliest cities can be viewed here. Will you now add friendliness to your list of moving factors when choosing a new place to live?

(Image courtesy of Pixabay)


Posted October 27, 2015 by RentJungle
Worrying about the apartment rental market is a natural thing to do when the market is on the up-and-up. After all, rising apartment demand and rents won't last forever. However, according to recent reports, the multifamily industry will continue to rise in demand. As fewer people are qualified to buy houses (and as Millennials form households later in life), those in the apartment industry continue to be optimistic about the rental market. An article from Commercial Property Executive explores these survey results:

"The National Multifamily Housing Council released its latest Quarterly Survey of Apartment Conditions on Thursday. One question on the survey was, "How are apartment market conditions in the local markets that you watch? 'Tight' markets are defined as those with low vacancies and high rent increases. Conditions obviously vary greatly from place to place, but on balance, apartment market conditions in your markets today are…" A slim majority, 52 percent, answered that their market is about the same as it was three months before. A quarter of the respondents (26 percent) characterized the market as tighter than three months earlier, while fewer (22 percent) said that their market is looser than three months earlier.

Another survey question was, "What about sales of apartment properties in the local markets you watch? The sales volume (number of deals) currently is…" That question ellicited a similar breakdown in responses. The majority — 56 percent — said that the sales volume in October was about the same as it was three months before. But a sizable chunk of respondents think that sales volumes had increased in the last three months: 27 percent. Only 11 percent said that the volume was down.

The survey also asked about equity and debt financing for apartment deals. Regarding equity financing, a majority think that conditions are about the same as three months earlier. But regarding debt financing, most either said that now's a better time to borrow than three months ago (45 percent) or that now's about the same as three months ago (41 percent). A paultry 2 percent said that now's a worse time to borrow — maybe partly as a result of interest rates not rising in September after all. The survey was conducted in mid-October, with 120 CEOs and other senior executives of apartment-related firms nationwide as respondents. The previous survey was in July and the one before that in April."


Learn more about the commercial property and apartment industries on Commercial Property Executive: http://www.cpexecutive.com/economy-watch/economy-watch-apartment-market-fundaments-still-robust/1004130135.html


Posted August 06, 2015 by RentJungle
For-rent-sign The cost of housing is going up for both renting and owning your own home. Across the board, living in a home is becoming more and more expensive. Renting is actually a little more expensive than owning a home in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. But there are definitely some reasons why renting is still preferable to owning your home.

1. You'll have a lot more options.
A lot of areas in cities are more renter friendly than owner friendly. Certain popular or trendy areas tend to be geared more towards renters than to those looking to own their homes. Warehouse districts and beach communities typically only offer homes for rent. When you're renting your home, you can find a home almost anywhere you can dream of.

2. Moving is SO much easier.
Moving from one home to another is already stressful on its own but it's more difficult when you're forced to finalize piles of paperwork. When moving into a new rental, all you need to do is sign a lease usually. It also takes a lot of the stress off of your shoulders knowing that you're not obligated to find someone else to move into your apartment before you can move out. Homeowners have to transfer ownership to someone else before they can be rid of their old home. It's easy to just break your lease, pack your belongings up and get out of town. No worries about who's going to take over for you.

3. There's less to worry about.
Owning your own home means dealing with your problems and malfunctions all on your own. If something breaks, you have to fix it or pay someone to do it. When you rent your apartment, typically your landlord takes care of that for you, whether they hire a contract to mend the problem or do it themselves. Cutting the grass? That's a hassle that has to be taken care of every few weeks when you're a home owner. In a lot of apartments, landlords hire someone to take care of that for you. Some will even offer a discount on rent if you'll do it yourself.

4. Renting can have some major perks.
Some luxury apartment complexes offer some extra amenities that just don't come with a purchased home unless you're paying for it. Some of those bonuses include fitness centers, basketball or tennis courts, free Wi-fi, swimming pools, play areas for kids and areas to hold events. These perks can really make a difference when choosing an apartment to move into not to mention whether deciding between owning and renting.

Renting your home can end up a little more expensive than owning your own house but there are definite benefits to renting. Chores like home and lawn maintenance are taken care of. You can pick up and leave at almost anytime, with little to no hoops to jump through. Your choices of neighborhoods are vast and virtually endless. Even with the extra money you're paying, you're getting some additional perks that make it all worth it!

Sources consulted
Forbes

Image courtesy of Wikimedia


Posted July 31, 2015 by RentJungle
Image courtesy PixabayWhen you are in search of a new rental, location is always a key factor - whether you desire a location close to your work or one that is far from city life. Current trends suggest that one specific aspect of location is increasing in its importance - walkability. You may have checked websites like Walk Score to view a building's proximity to locations like grocery stores, transportation, restaurants, and the like; but a new study suggests that walkability could soon be a top deciding factor when it comes to choosing a new rental apartment or home.

The study, conducted by RealtyToday.com focuses on how various aspects of walkability are impacting today's real estate market. Perhaps, most importantly is the same mentality of Baby Boomers and Millennials to live without needing a car. While the boomers are downsizing, millennials do not want to have a lengthy commute to work. Fields where jobs are plentiful, such as medicine and technology, tend to be found in urban areas.

Due the economic crash in the early 2000s, many young people are skeptical of investing in home ownership, or just do not have the income to do so. Combine this with the fact that median home sales are at the highest rates in history, the younger generation is not inclined to buy.

What does this signal for property managers? Market your walkability. If millennials want to walk to both their jobs and their social events, rentals need to appeal to this. If you are a millennial currently searching for a rental the offers ideal walkability, a newly published study from The George Washington University School of Business ranks the most walkable metropolitan areas in the country. Washington D.C. topped the list, followed by New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle. These cities are categorized by the study as "High Walkable Urbanism."

If your ideal standard of living involves a high level of walkability, you certainly are not alone. As baby boomers come of retirement age and millennials continue to shift into the job market, property managers will need to being or continue development in urban areas where walkability rates are high.

 Image courtesy Pixabay


Posted July 16, 2015 by RentJungle
In today's market, choosing whether to rent or buy can be a difficult decision. There are many factors that come into play when choosing your new home. Will you stay in the area, what is your financial status or how much room do you need are all factors that you think about when choosing whether to rent or buy. However, the trend that is continuing this year and throughout the past 10 years is to rent.
 
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has been gathering data about this trend for the past few years. 2014 is the 10th consecutive year for rental household growth. Harvard University has calculated that the rental household growth is increasing at an average of 900,000 renter households per year. This trend has stayed constant from 2010-2014.

Homeownership has feel nearly 64.5% in the past year. This significant decrease has wiped out all of the steady increase from the past two decades. This is the 10th consecutive year that the amount of homeowners in the United States has fallen. This trend seems to be continuing as the rental growth continues to increase at a steady rate.

Harvard also wanted to evaluate why the rental trend was increasing so much in the past few years. This increase is caused in part to the rental demand of younger adults. Adults 35 and over have contributed to 76% of renter household growth in the past few years. This means that the younger adult demographic makes up 60% of all renters in the United States.

All of these factors show a steady increase for the foreseeable future in multi family housing rentals. As millennials start to make their own future, they will contribute to be the largest percentage of the rental market. These findings will also be a huge factor in construction for the future. If the demand is still high, multi family units will continue to be built around the United States. This could cause a change in the rental market prices and demand as we see where the future takes us. You can learn more about the Harvard study by visiting FreddieMac.
 
Image From Wikimedia


Posted June 22, 2015 by RentJungle
Apartment Market NewsThe choice between buying a home and renting a home is one of the most difficult decisions any young adult will make. Though many of the variables surrounding this decision vary from individual to individual, one trend is clear - the number of homeowners in the United States is swiftly declining.

According to CNBC, the national occupancy rate of rental units hit 95.3 percent in May, the highest on record, according to Axiometrics, a real estate analytics firm. Though May historically signifies the the start of the period of highest rental capacity, this year is one for the record books. To learn what this could mean for the rent on your place, or the next apartment that you move into, take a look at this article from CNBC.

"With higher occupancy comes higher rents; in May rents grew 5 percent nationally, the fourth straight month at or above that mark. Rent growth was at just 3.6 percent in May 2014, according to Axiometrics.

"Owners and investors are having a profitable start to the year," McCleskey said. "One interesting point is that rent growth is increasing in previously challenged markets in the East and Midwest, such as Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Baltimore and even Detroit," noted McCleskey.

Apartment demand, which some investors thought would abate as the housing market recovered, is doing just the opposite. It is also coming from both ends of the age scale. Millennials, finally finding jobs and moving out of group or family homes, are pushing rental demand; downsizing baby boomers, many of them soured on homeownership by losses from the housing crash, are doing the same.

"The Great Recession lowered the homeownership rate, and it's just so hard to get a footing from here, so you are sort of starting from a diminished base, particularly for younger people, but for all age groups," said Laurie Goodman, director of the housing finance policy center at the Urban Institute.

Goodman just published a paper claiming the homeownership rate, now at 63.7 percent, the lowest in 25 years, will continue to decline through 2030. She said a rental surge is coming, and that of the 22 million households formed in the next 20 years, 13 million will be renters.

"We are nowhere near building enough to meet demand," added Goodman.

In the vibrant downtown of Bethesda, Maryland, a short bike ride from the D.C. line, developers are readying to cut the ribbon on 162 rental units in what is being called the Flats at Bethesda Avenue. It is part of a new mixed-use development that includes high-end retail, restaurants and multimillion-dollar condominiums, all in the heart of the downtown, which has already undergone a revival in just the past five years.

The lowest price point at the Flats is $2,200 per month for a studio. The most expensive unit is $6,000 a month. The area, which saw little to no apartment construction during the recession, is now booming.

"We've had a surge here over the last nine or 10 months, and it's really taken off. People were concerned about oversupply, but the absorption has been great, and it's really across the board," said Douglas Firstenberg, principal of StonebridgeCarras, the real estate development and investment firm behind the project. "There is really a growth in demand in, the term we're using, 'rent by choice.' The older renter who is looking to downsize and doesn't want to own anymore."

Firstenberg estimates that more than half of those who have signed leases so far are over the age of 50. They want to be in the middle of an urban area. It is a phenomenon driving development of new urban cores outside major cities as well as new walkable developments in the nation's downtown areas. Still, it is not happening fast enough.

"There is no question we have a shortage of housing," added Firstenburg.

The supply issue will vary market to market and price range to price range. Some local municipalities require developers to set aside some units as "affordable," but the bulk of new renter households will likely be among lower-income families, and those units are not nearly enough.

"The thing to realize about this millennial generation is it's much more racially, ethnically diverse than the boomer generation, and that means less homeownership. The rate for African-Americans and Hispanics is lower than it is for whites by a considerable amount," said Goodman.

Rising rents are continuing to put a strain on U.S. households, making up a far larger monthly share of expenses. While multifamily construction last year soared to the highest level since 1989, the timeline for these buildings is longer than for a single-family home, and the rental population is growing ever faster.

Higher rents may drive some to homeownership, but only if renters can save enough for a down payment; that, too, is getting harder.

"Real wages have been absolutely flat for about the last 20 years and actually down for that critical 25-34 age group, student loan debt, particularly for those that don't finish school is really important, and then finally the question is, has there been a subtle change in attitudes toward homeownership?" asked Goodman.


Posted April 09, 2015 by RentJungle
Q1AptDemandAccording to a new study published by MFP research, the first quarter of 2015 shows increased demand and growth in major apartment markets across the country. The Dallas-Forth Worth area was the number 1 demand leader, with a net lease of 18,000 apartment units in the past year.

One main contributor to the increased demand for apartments in this market is job growth. Toyota and Liberty Mutual insurance are among large companies moving workers into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and therefore, these relocated employees need to find housing. More than 34,000 apartment units are currently under construction. The average rent at new apartments in the suburbs is $1,200/month, while in the city the going rate is at $1,700/month.

Although most markets are seeing a rise in apartment demand, only a few major markets are the driving forces behind this significant increase. In addition to Dallas-Forth Worth, these markets include Houston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Austin, Denver-Boulder, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Seattle-Tacoma, San Antonio, Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando and Raleigh-Durham.

Growth in the market is also lending itself to apartment rate increases. Rent in the Denver-Boulder area jumped the most, at 10.5%, with Oakland and San Francisco close behind at 10.2%.

What types of apartments are filling up the fastest? New lease-ups. The modern design and new amenities are a huge draw. However, for those seeking a mid-price apartment, those are more difficult to come by.

Overall, the growth in the apartment sector is looking like a long-term increase, with no signs of slowing down soon. However, the rate at which new units currently under construction are filled may slow down slightly, according to MFP. The good news if you're on the apartment hunt? You're going to have a lot of options if you're looking in these major markets. The bad news? You're going to be paying slightly more. 


Posted February 02, 2015 by RentJungle
Where are the most popular markets for building multi-family housing developments? You'll find the answer in this article from The National Multifamily Housing Council.

At the beginning of the apartment recovery, all eyes were on the "sexy six" core markets. Fast forward, however, and the suburbs are demanding more attention. Media coverage notwithstanding, reports of the death of suburban multifamily development were greatly exaggerated.

"Even though the urban core's share of new construction is way up this cycle, two-thirds of starts have been suburban," said Greg Willett, vice president of MPF Research.

A panel on the topic at the recent NMHC Apartment Strategies Conference took on many of the misconceptions of suburban development. Among them?

All suburbs are the same. We need to stop grouping them all together. There are "good" suburbs — strong markets with more jobs, higher house values, higher household incomes and urban-ish, meaning not bedroom communities and not sprawl.

You have to be in the Central Business District (CBD) to keep your units filled. Actually, demand exists beyond the urban core. If you look at the "good" suburbs, you see properties maintaining full occupancy.

The real rent growth is in the urban core. Also not true. On average, pricing increases in "good" suburbs basically match the performance in urban core markets. If anything, higher-rent suburban markets tend to outperform.

Urban core renters are young, suburban renters are older. Because of the price point in urban properties, a lot of renters are older than you might expect, and the lower rents in the suburbs mean those renters are younger than you might expect.

There's too much competition in the suburbs because it's too easy to build there. It's easier to get capital for urban properties while more obstacles to development are cropping up in the suburbs. NIMBYism is alive and well in the suburbs and the entitlement process has gotten much tougher in recent years.

You can't get capital for suburban development. Given that most investors already have a flag in the ground on CBD locations and considering rising construction and land prices, the suburban development story is resonating more with investors on a risk-adjusted basis. According to Brian Natwick, president of multifamily for Crescent Communities, "capital wants to diversify in their investment portfolio and the suburbs are a healthy diversification."

You're going to lose all those suburban renters to homeownership. The percentage of move outs to house purchases hasn't changed, and, in fact, the higher the rents, the higher the percentage.

You have higher renewal conversion rates in downtown markets. The share of renters renewing upon lease expiration in "good" suburbs is 200 basis points higher. "From a customer standpoint, it makes sense to go after both," said Carter Siegel, a director with Wood Properties. "People live in suburban locations for specific reasons — schools, access to nature, lifestyle — offerings that aren't available in the urban core."

Willett summed up the session by saying, "it's not an either/or, it's an 'and.' Suburbs are great and we haven't talked about them enough in recent years."

Siegel concurred with the diversification argument, noting that "urban product is demanded by our customers, so we'll always be there. But at this stage in the cycle, we are looking to make better investments and more money in the suburbs."  


Posted January 16, 2015 by RentJungle
Officials in Boston and New York City are beginning to crack down on a growing problem of overcrowded off-campus student housing. The main reason for the overcrowding is rent prices. Students are unable to afford rent by themselves, so they share apartments or rental houses with more people than the property is zoned for. National Real Estate Investor explains how Boston is handling the problem:

 Housing inspectors are starting to crack down on overcrowded student housing in college towns, starting with Boston and New York City.

 Officials in Boston have gathered the addresses of more than 25,000 college students from 31 colleges in the Boston metro area, according to a report last week in the Boston Globe. Using the list, officials have identified about 580 properties that have apartments occupied by more than five students crowded together. A 2008 zoning rule forbids more than four full-time, undergraduate students from sharing a single apartment.

 Enforcement may have a sharp effect on the balance between supply and demand for student housing in Boston. More than 45,000 students live off-campus in the metro area, according to the Globe, and many may soon have to find less-crowded housing. More overcrowded properties might be added to the city's list. Officials are still trying to get the addresses for many students, but many of the addresses they do have don't include apartment numbers. The extra information may reveal more overcrowding.

 Once officials confirm that an apartment is unsafe or overcrowded, they plan to work with students, landlords and the colleges to find safe, uncrowded places for the students to live, according to the Globe. Eventually, Boston's housing inspectors plan to visit all of the roughly 150,000 rental apartments in the city to make sure they measure up to housing codes.

 For years, overcrowding has been a sort of unofficial housing policy for many of the least affordable cities in the United States. An average one-bedroom rental apartment is too expensive for a full-time minimum wage worker in all 50 states in the United States, according to an analysis of fair market rents by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition's 2014 "Out of Reach" report. Many renters solve the problem by crowding in with roommates.

 The problem is especially acute for students. The Boston Globe drew Boston's attention to its terrible student housing landlords with a "Spotlight" section report published in April 2013. The report exposed broken windows, malfunctioning fire detectors, rodents and overcrowding. A fire in 2013 killed Boston University student Binland Lee, who was trapped in an illegal attic apartment with only one way out.

 But Boston isn't the only city that is cracking down on landlords with serious problems at their buildings.New York City's Alternative Enforcement program, which identifies the 200 worst buildings for violations, is also underway. The owners of those buildings have four months to fix the problems, and the city will make the repairs itself and charge the landlord.

 High demand for student housing

 Demand for student housing is still very high nationwide, on average. Occupancy rates averaged 96 percent, according to an analysis by Colliers of properties sold in the first half of 2014 near tier-one schools whose enrollment is more than 20,000. Developers are enthusiastically building new student housing properties in markets across the country, favoring sites within walking distance of campus, which are increasingly rare.

 Enrollment grew slightly at four-year colleges from 2012 to 2013, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, which was released in September. Four-year college enrollment grew while enrollment fell steeply by 10 percent at two-year colleges, driving overall college enrollment down by 463,000 between 2012 and 2013, marking the second year in a row that a drop of this magnitude has occurred. However, growth in enrollment at four-year colleges is the important factor for owners and managers of buildings located near tier-one schools.


Posted December 09, 2014 by RentJungle
1004245627_0894ed672a_zApartment market trends in 2014 have increased steadily in 2014. To learn more click here.
 Multifamily housing starts hit 423,000 units in July, reports the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The seasonally adjusted figure, for multifamily housing of five or more units, represents an increase of 33 percent over the month before.
 Meanwhile, apartments investment sales in the second quarter jumped to a multi-year high of $125,063 per unit, compared to $108,485 in first quarter 2014, according to PPR/Costar.
 At 600,000 units nationwide, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing condo and co-op sales was unchanged in July, NAHB reports. At the same time, median existing condo and co-op sales prices rose by 3.3 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis over the past year to $215,000.
 Inventory for existing condo and co-ops rose by 14.9 percent over the month to 278,000 units. The months' supply, which represents the number of months it would take to exhaust the existing condo and co-op inventory at the current sales pace, grew by 16.7 percent over the month to 5.6 months, said NAHB.
 GSE total multifamily mortgage debt outstanding fell, to $234 billion in the second quarter from $258 billion in same period a year ago, according to data from REIS Inc. and the Federal Reserve.
 And according to PPR, Co-Star, altogether more than $28 billion apartment properties were transacted during the second quarter.


Posted November 21, 2014 by RentJungle
("New Classroom" by Bart Everson is licensed under CC BY 2.0)If you are moving and have children, undoubtedly a factor of where you decide to live is the quality of the educational system versus the affordability of the school, or the overall cost of living in that area. RealtyTrac recently conducted a study of 25,000 elementary schools in 7,500 zip codes, taking into account test scores, home price and unemployment rates. Here are the results: Markets with Good Schools and Affordable Homes There were 489 zip codes with elementary schools where 2013 test scores were at least one-third higher than their respective state average and where the average price of a residential property required one-third or less of the median household income. These zip codes also had a maximum unemployment rate of 5.9 percent in September.Cities with the most affordable zip codes with good schools were led by Orlando, Fla., (9), Raleigh, N.C. (8), Phoenix, Ariz., (6), followed by five cities each with five affordable zip codes with good schools: Chandler, Ariz., Colorado Springs, Colo., Grand Rapids, Mich., Lexington, Ky., and Wilmington, N.C.States with the most affordable zip codes with good schools were New York (105), North Carolina (66), Florida (62), Illinois (50), and Michigan (40).The average test score for the best elementary schools in these 359 zip codes was 49 percent higher than their state average. Markets with Good Schools and Unaffordable Homes There were 127 zip codes with elementary schools where 2013 test scores were at least one-third higher than the state average and where the average price of a residential property required two-thirds or more of the median household income. These zip codes also had a maximum unemployment rate of 5.9 percent in September. Cities with the most unaffordable zip codes with good schools were New York, N.Y. (22), San Francisco, Calif., (8), Flushing, N.Y., (4), Newport Beach, Calif., (4) Oakland, Calif., (4), San Jose, Calif., (4), and Portland, Ore., (3). States with the most unaffordable zip codes with good schools were California (69) and New York (44). No other states had more than three unaffordable zip codes with good schools. The average test score in these 91 zip codes was 60 percent higher than their state average.


Posted October 24, 2014 by RentJungle
Buying rental houses in college towns and flipping them can be a lucrative investment. RealtyTrac recently ranked college towns with public universities and a student population of 20,000 or more, in counties with an unemployment rate below the national average of 6.2%. Here are the results of the study:Top 10 for buying rentals The top 10 college towns for buying rental properties were ranked based on annual gross rental yield, which is the annualized rental income — using average fair market rents for the town from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development —divided by the average of the median sales prices in the city during the first eight months of 2014. With an average rental yield of nearly 14 percent, the city of Akron Ohio, home of the University of Akron, tops the list of top college towns for buying rental properties. Following closely is Trenton, N.J., home of Thomas Edison State College, with an average gross rental yield of 13.20 percent, Gainesville, Fla., home to the University of Florida, with an average gross rental yield of 11.34 percent.Top 10 for flipping The top 10 college towns for flipping were ranked based on the average gross return on investment (ROI) percentage for single family homes flipped in the town during the first eight months of 2014. Not all college towns had sufficient sales, rental or flipping data to rank. Topping the list of the best college towns for flipping is Minneapolis, Minn., home of the University of Minnesota, with an ROI for flipping of 65.59 percent. Close behind is Seattle, Wash., home of the University of Washington, with an ROI on flipping of 61.88 percent and Lincoln, Neb., home of the University of Nebraska, with an ROI on flipping of 55.01 percent."Boulder shows strong rental rates with rents of $800 to $1,000 per bedroom close to campus and a vacancy rate of 1 percent," said Greg Smith, broker/owner of RE/MAX Alliance in Boulder, Colo."Boulder investment properties are selling at an all-time high with many properties selling for cap rates of less than five percent."


Posted September 19, 2014 by RentJungle

How did the apartment market fare during the month of August? Keep reading. If you're looking for a little more insight per below, click here.

Multifamily housing starts of buildings with five or more units rose by 42.9 percent over the month of April 2014 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 413,000 units, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The three-month moving average of multifamily housing starts, now exceeds 301,000 units?the average recorded between 2000 and 2007, according to NAHB.

Metropolitan area statistics compiled by Marcus & Millichap shows that apartment completions increased 15 percent in the top metros in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter 2013. Effective rents in top metros rose by 3.4 percent, and vacancies fell by 0.1 percent, during the first quarter compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, apartment transactions dropped from $27.78 billion to $16.89 billion, according to data from CoStar/PPR. The number of properties sold fell from 3,501 to 2,745.

Banks increased their mortgage debt outstanding from $298.2 billion to 262.4 billion in the first quarter 2014 compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to Federal Reserves data compiled by REIS. While banks increased their balances, GSEs' mortgage debt outstanding for the same quarter fell from 261.9 to 238.9 billion compared to a year ago.



Posted August 22, 2014 by RentJungle

According to data from The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, July saw a fall in total investment returns for multifamily housing from 2.48 to 2.28 percent. Though the investment returns fell for multifamily housing, during the same time period they rose 2.74 percent for commercial real estate. Multihousingnews.com writes:

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) commercial/multifamily mortgage originations volume index fell 17 percent to 152 in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, median condo and co-op sales prices, not seasonally adjusted, rose as of March 2014 by 11.6 percent over the previous 12 months, reports the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The condo and co-op inventory rose by 2.0 percent over March, says NAHB. As a result of a declining sales pace and an expanding inventory, the months' supply, which represents the number of months it would take to exhaust the condo and co-op inventory at the current sales pace, rose by 3.8 percent to 5.5 months in March.

NAHB's March 2014 reading of five or more unit housing starts represents the fourth consecutive month-over-month decline. Over this four-month period, housing starts of buildings with five or more units have fallen by 23.0 percent.



Posted May 23, 2014 by RentJungle

According to PPR/CoStar, the average apartment sales price in the second quarter is down slightly as compared to the sales price in the same period last year.

"Housing starts of buildings with five or more units began 2014 with a month-over-month decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 units," states the NAHB. According to NAHB, since peaking at 379,000 units in November 2013, housing starts of buildings with five or more units has now declined for two consecutive months.

Between August 2013 and November 2013, housing starts of buildings with five or more units rose by 51.0 percent. Shelter prices, which accounted for 41.6 percent of core-CPI and 32.0 percent of CPI, rose by 0.3 percent in January 2014.

Regionally, existing condo and co-op sales fell in the Northeast, by 9.1 percent, and in the Midwest, 12.5 percent, states NAHB. However, the South experienced an 8.0 percent increase in existing condo and co-op sales. Meanwhile, the condo and co-op inventory fell by 7.2 percent over the month to 206,000 units.

Existing condo and co-op prices rose by 13.0 percent over 2013.

Total multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased for banks, but fell for Fannie/Freddie and CMBS, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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Posted December 17, 2013 by RentJungle

Banks are increasing their construction loans for the first time since 2007, according to Chandan Economics. Banks registered a quarterly increase of 897,529 in the second quarter 2013.

Year-over-year growth in residential construction prices decelerated from 2.1 percent in July 2013 to 1.7 percent in August 2013. After a period of significant increases, prices of building materials now display slower rates of year-over-year growth or outright declines, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

As a result of higher sales and lower inventory, August's supply of existing condos and co-ops, which represents the length of time in months it would take to exhaust the condo and co-op inventory at the current sales pace, declined to 4.6. Over the past year, condo and co-op prices have risen by 17.7 percent.

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Posted September 17, 2013 by RentJungle

 

Housing starts in five-plus unit dwellings rose by 25 percent in May 2013 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 306,000 units, reports the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). However, "on a three-month moving average basis, which smooths the month-over-month volatility, housing starts in five-plus unit dwellings were 302,000 in May, basically unchanged from April."

"This is the fourth consecutive month in which the three-month moving average has registered a level greater than 300,000," says NAHB.

Meanwhile, condo and coop sales remain higher than a year ago in May 2013. Median condo and coop prices increased from 189,800 in April 2013 to $202,100 in May 2013. Over the past 12 months to May, condo coop prices have risen by 12 percent, in part reflecting falling inventory levels, currently 4.9 months' supply, says NAHB.

The May 2013 statistics show that materials costs are rising, but still remain generally lower than their peaks during the housing boom. Softwood lumber is still at 89 percent of housing boom peaks. And gypsum is 95 percent of its highs a few years ago, according to NAHB.

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Posted June 06, 2013 by RentJungle

Marcus and Millichap's statistics for the nation's top apartment markets show average rent increase of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter over the same period a year ago. Apartment vacancies continued to decline, by 20 basis points. But apartment completions are up by 30 percent compared to a year ago.

According to CoStar/PPR tracking of investment sales, $25.09 billion worth of multifamily assets traded hands in the fourth quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The weighted price per unit was $115,954 in the fourth quarter, substantially up from $86,789 per unit in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that housing starts for buildings with five or more apartment units plunged by 26 percent during January 2013, falling to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 260,000. Despite the large decline in January, starts exceed the level of starts averaged over the last six months of 2012, NAHB stated.

Meanwhile, the rate at which new five-plus permits were issued remained relatively stable in January, increasing 1 percent to 311,000 units. This represents the third straight month the five-plus permit rate has exceeded 300,000, said NAHB.

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Posted March 14, 2013 by RentJungle


Total returns for commercial real estate and apartment investment fell in the third quarter, according to statistics from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries.

Financing volume has increased this year, as reflected in the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) originations volume index. Compared to the same period a year ago, the third quarter financing index is 30 percent higher.

The New York City multifamily foreclosure rate has returned to the second quarter level with respect to the number of properties scheduled for foreclosure auctions.

The seasonally-adjusted September starts of 260,000 units represent the highest starts level in four years, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This rate of multifamily starts is likely to be sustainable, according to NAHB. And permits for the same month are at the highest reading since June 2008.

According to NAHB, condo and coop prices, at $181,000, have increased by 10 percent compared to prices in September 2011. Median prices have increased in each of the past nine months.

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Posted February 07, 2013 by RentJungle

It's natural to worry about whether apartment markets will get overbuilt.

The development pipeline is robust. But market researchers at the at National Multi Housing Council's annual meeting, held January 22-23 in Palm Springs, Calif., said that the sector remains in the clear—for now. While the pipeline in some markets is at worryingly high levels, the national supply is within normal levels.

Apartment developers now have plans to build roughly 1.4 million new apartments nationally, according to data from NMHC. More than half of the apartment companies report they are buying developable land, lining up financing and getting building permits, according to NMHC's latest survey of its own members.

But many of those planned units are still just plans. "We don't think all those 1.4 million units in the pipeline are real," says Ron Witten, founder of apartment market advisory firm Witten Advisors. Many will not actually start construction for years, if they ever do.

That's especially true in markets with high barriers to entry such as Boston, where it can take developers as long as seven years to get the permission to build from local officials needed to build. Cautious underwriting, limited debt capacity, rising land and construction costs and weaker rent growth may also keep many of those units from fruition.

"We think instead that starts, perhaps, aren't even going to get back to 250,000 in the near term," Witten reported at the NMHC conference. Other analysts gave similar estimates. That's slightly more than last year, when multifamily starts finished at an annual rate of just 212,000.

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Posted January 30, 2013 by RentJungle

After a seven-quarter run, expansion moderated for apartment markets according to the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) January Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. For the first time since 2010, two of the four indexes – Market Tightness (45) and Sales Volume (49) – dipped below 50, though just barely. The two financing indexes show continued improvement for the 8th consecutive quarter, as the Equity Financing (56) and Debt Financing (57) Indexes remained above the breakeven level of 50.

"The pace of improvement in the apartment industry is moderating, but the expansion remains solid," said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC's Vice President for Research and Chief Economist. "Lease-up demand is seasonally weak in January, which would fully explain the small drop in the Market Tightness Index. Beyond that, markets were quite tight three months ago, and remain tight today. New construction has picked up considerably since its 2009 low, but is still playing catch-up with the increase in demand for apartment residences."

Key findings include:

Financing remains constrained to top markets. Only 12 percent reported construction financing as available for all types of apartments in all markets. Similarly, slightly more than a quarter (28 percent) thought acquisition financing was available for all properties in all markets. For both construction and acquisition financing, 43 percent of respondents indicated that capital was available for primary markets but constrained in secondary and tertiary markets.

Market Tightness Index declined to 45 from 56. The change ends an 11-quarter run for the index at 50 or higher. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that markets were unchanged, reflecting stable demand conditions. One quarter of respondents saw markets as looser, up from 14 percent in October, while 16 percent viewed markets as tighter.

The Sales Volume Index decreased slightly from 51 to 49. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said that markets were unchanged, reflecting stable demand conditions. One quarter of respondents saw markets as tighter, with nearly the same (26 percent) indicating looser markets.

The Equity Financing Index remained unchanged at 56. This reflects the 14th quarter in a row with the index above 50. Approximately two-thirds (68 percent) viewed equity financing as unchanged, while 20 percent of respondents thought equity financing was more available and only 8 percent indicated equity financing was less available.

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Posted January 23, 2013 by RentJungle

Apartment markets continued to improve across all areas of the country for the seventh quarter in a row, though the pace of improvement moderated, according to the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. Still, the NMHC said the outlook is for continued strength in the multifamily sector for the next two years.

NMHC's survey measures market tightness, sales volume, equity financing and debt financing, all of which measured at 50 or higher, indicating growth from the second quarter.

"Even after nearly three years of recovery, apartment markets around the country remain strong as more report tightening conditions than not," said NMHC chief economist Mark Obrinsky. "The dynamic that began in 2010 remains in place: the increase in prospective apartment residents continues to outpace the pickup in new apartments completed. While development activity has picked up considerably since the trough, financing for both acquisition and construction remains constrained, flowing mainly to the best properties in the top markets."

 

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Posted December 19, 2012 by RentJungle

Countering the typical seasonal trend, annual effective rent growth for the apartment market increased from 3.60% in October to 3.72% in November according to the latest data from Axiometrics Inc., the leading provider of apartment data and market research. Annual occupancy growth also increased by 48 basis points (bps), making November the sixth consecutive month with an increase, though on a sequential basis there was a decline in the occupancy rate from October to November. Axiometrics also notes how the average square footage for new apartment construction is decreasing, reversing a trend that reached its peak at an average 1,008 square feet for properties built in the 2001-2005 timeframe. Still, while the current average of 982 square foot for properties in lease-up is lower than in recent years, it still has a ways to go before dropping to the 834 square foot average for properties built from 1981-1985, according to Axiometrics.

"As we believed would be the case at the beginning of the year, Class C properties have led the way in both effective rent and occupancy growth throughout the year, and helped lead a turnaround in momentum since August," said Ron Johnsey, president of Axiometrics. "In addition, while many coastal areas and the top Texas markets continue to lead the nation in effective rent growth, it is interesting to note that for the first time in four years Las Vegas posted positive annual growth during November."

Monthly, Year-to-Date, and Annual Effective Rent Growth and Occupancy

The national annual effective rent growth increase from 3.60% in October to 3.72% in November reversed the declines recorded for each month from April to October. Most of the increase can be attributed to Class B and Class C properties. Class B properties increased from a 3.6% annual effective rent growth rate in October to 3.8% in November. Class C properties performed even better, increasing from 4.0% in October to 4.2% in November. Since reaching a peak growth rate of 4.8% in May, Class A properties continued their slowdown, growing at only a 3.6% annual rate in November.

The national occupancy rate decreased slightly in November, declining from 94.43% in October to 94.26% in November. This decline was quite close to the declines recorded in November 2011 and 2010. However, overall monthly sequential growth the past few months has been higher than the comparable months of 2011, leading to an improvement in year-over-year changes and an increase in the annual occupancy growth rate from 20 bps in May to 48 bps in November. Once again, Class C properties led the way with a 115 bps increase, thus raising their occupancy to 92.5% in November. Class A properties remain the highest occupied, however, at a rate of 95.2%.

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Posted November 28, 2012 by RentJungle

According to the latest S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes, which were released on Tuesday, residential property prices are still on the rise. The national composite index was up 3.6 percent in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same quarter in 2011, and up 2.2 percent compared with 2Q12.

In September 2012, the 10- and 20-city composites showed annual increases of 2.1 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Average home prices in the 10- and 20-city composites were each up by 0.3 percent in September versus August 2012, and 17 of the 20 MSAs and both composites posted higher annual increases in September versus August 2012. Detroit and Washington D.C. recorded a slight deceleration in their annual rates, while New York saw no change.

"Home prices rose in the third quarter, marking the sixth consecutive month of increasing prices," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted in a press statement. "We are entering the seasonally weak part of the year… [but] despite the seasons, housing continues to improve."

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Posted January 25, 2012 by RentJungle

The housing market has continued its decline over the last year, and as a result many Americans are less likely to join what they consider a more 'risky' move: buying a home. Instead, 20-24 year old Americans are continuing the trend of renting in lieu of owning:

"Hessam Nadji, managing director, research and advisory services at the firm, tells GlobeSt.com that "Demand for rental housing will remain robust in 2012 as strong demographic trends combine with shifting consumer behavior. The total population within the prime 20-34 year old renter cohort has increased dramatically, and will increase by an additional 2 million through 2015," he says. "As this age cohort continues to face significant hurdles to homeownership and as the tight employment market encourages flexible housing decisions, many of these new households will continue to favor renting.

In addition, Nadji says, though foreclosure activity has begun to recede from peak levels, homeownership rates have declined dramatically since reaching their 69.2% peak in 2004. "The most recent readings place homeownership at 66.3%, and this sharp decline has significantly added to rental housing demand. As a result, rental housing will remain a favored choice for the coming year."

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Posted January 12, 2012 by RentJungle

"In response to rising foreclosures and stringent mortgage standards developers and families turned to the rental market as a solution. New rental units are expected to relieve the tight vacancy market, specifically on the west coast within the next year. Despite optimistic reports of multifamily construction rebounding, only 38,000 new units were built last year representing an all-time low in the last thirty years."

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Posted November 14, 2011 by RentJungle

"While the homeownership rate falls, rental demand rises bringing rental rates up and apartment vacancies down – all of which has led Freddie Mac's chief economist to label the multifamily sector a positive signal for the U.S. housing industry.

"The improvement in the economics of apartment management has prompted an increase in structure values, property sales, and new construction for larger buildings," states Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft in his October U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.

After a 32 percent drop from 2008 to 2009, the' U.S. apartment values rose 18 percent in the first quarter of this year, Nothaft reports, referencing the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries apartment value index.

This rise is a result of the fact that many newly-formed households are choosing to rent rather than own in the current, unstable economy, according to Nothaft."

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Posted October 24, 2011 by RentJungle

Although current financial news may not always present the most pleasant outlook, the big picture on the economy is more encouraging – even as to the housing market. Over the course of the recent recession housing prices fell along with rents nationwide. Many young adults found themselves moving back home to stave off the high housing costs. However, today many of these people are finding jobs and now have the opportunity to move out. This increasing trend is steadily sending the high vacancy rates back down toward pre-recession levels, with the consequent effect of increasing rental rates.

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Posted October 19, 2011 by RentJungle

"U.S. apartment vacancies fell to a five-year low in the third quarter, enabling landlords to increase rents even as tepid job growth slowed leasing in what is usually a strong season for demand, Reis Inc. (REIS)said.

The vacancy rate dropped to 5.6 percent, the lowest since the third quarter of 2006, the New York-based property-research company said in a report today. It was 5.9 percent in the previous three months and 7.1 percent a year earlier. The average monthly effective rent rose to $1,004 from $997 in the second quarter and $981 in the same period of 2010."

 

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Posted August 18, 2011 by RentJungle

The recent economic doldrums have removed doubts about renting in the minds of many Americans, he adds. "If you ask renters if renting or owning is a better financial decision, they say owning is a better long-term decision. But if they had to move in the near-term, they would rent again."

Americans report they believe renting can be a good financial decision, he says, noting that owning tends to take priority after a couple has children. "But even among those folks, they say we have to get our credit in shape, and be financially sound enough to maintain a home. And they want their employment situation to be secure enough that they will be able to sustain [home ownership]."

There are approximately 4.5 million single-family home mortgages with delinquencies in excess of 90 days, Duncan says. Renters have observed the downside of home ownership and will be more cautious going forward.

Click here to read more.

 



Posted July 27, 2011 by RentJungle
Almost everything in the real estate market is going down, like home sales and home prices. But here is one decline that can be taken as a bit of breather from all the bad news: U.S. apartment vacancies have dropped in the third quarter – the first in three years. This means that more and more people are deciding to move out of their families' and friends' places and renting their own places.

New York-based Reis Inc. released a survey of about 9.1 million apartments and found out that the national vacancy rate fell from last year's 7.9% to 7.2% in the third quarter – the figure was at 7.8% in the second quarter. The vacancy rate is said to be the lowest since the 6.7% achieved in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first year-over-year drop since fourth quarter of 2007. Vacancy rate was at a three-decade high late last year, when it hit 8%.

When the U.S. recession started two years ago, the trend of rental demand surge during the second and third quarters was interrupted. Declines in employment rates led many Americans to move in with parents or friends than renting their own places. Now, with the survey results, the trend seems to be coming back.

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Posted July 13, 2011 by RentJungle

Although the economy has started to trend upwards (a little), it's still a pretty tough economy out there. The question property managers may be asking themselves is "Where are easy places I can save a little money?"

The good news is that there are plenty of places to save money without impacting the quality of your business. It's also important to understand where it's okay to skimp a little, and what areas you never want to skimp in, which will be covered in Part II. Below are just a few you might want to consider.

Reduce traditional advertising while strengthening your web presence.
Large magazine ads and Yellow Page ads may have been effective ten years ago, but most people begin their property search on the web. Instead, consider doing the something like creating and optimizing a Facebook page, or opening a twitter account, where you can post daily tips and trends related to property management while highlighting your business. Another great option is starting an e-magazine or newsletter. All of these can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional print advertising, and will likely produce better results.

Cut down on the paper.
One of the biggest money wasters in any office, particularly the paper-driven property management office is an over-abundance of paper. Larger property management offices can find themselves spending the equivalent of a full-time position on cartons of paper and peripheral items such as ink and toner. If you recycle paper in your office, you know exactly how much is wasted daily. Consider investing in document management software, which typically costs far less than purchasing a year's worth of paper supplies. You'll be more organized, and will save money in the process.

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Posted June 15, 2011 by RentJungle

"For all the attention given to almost $4-a-gallon gas, the biggest threat to containing inflation may be the shift away from homeownership, which is pushing up the cost of leases across the nation's 38 million rented residences.

Housing has become "a contributor to inflation, and it continues to rise,'' agreed Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at the private-banking unit of KeyCorp in Cleveland, with $22 billion in assets under management. McCain estimates that rents have accounted for about 1 percentage point of the last decade's 2.4-percentage-point rise in prices."

 

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Posted June 07, 2011 by RentJungle

"More large cities are seeing an increase in the number of renters vs homeowners. According to a USA TODAY analysis of the latest Census data, now more than 500 large and midsize cities have seen growth in the quantity of homes that are rented vs owned. With more than 4 million homes lost due to foreclosure over the past 5 years, it isn't surprising to see such a large increase in rental properties. Economists predict that having more tenants will mean shifts in neighborhood stability and how people build wealth and retirement savings."

"Across the US in 2010 34.9% of occupied homes were rented in 2010, compared with 33.8% in 2000. And this trend is predicted to continue."

 

 

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Posted May 09, 2011 by RentJungle

"Houston takes top honors in a newly released list of the "10 Best Cities for Bachelors," according to the results of a Rent.com e-mail survey of 1,000 single adult men.

"Considered an "all-around attractive city to live and play," the largest city in Texas boasts "affordability and enticing first date hotspots" as well as a large dating pool.

"Rounding out the list are Chicago, San Antonio, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Rent.com notes that many of the cities on the list attract single men and women alike."

To read the full article click here



Posted April 11, 2011 by RentJungle

"National and local rent reports for the first quarter of 2011 are showing more good news for the multifamily real estate sector, with upticks in occupancy and continued gains in effective rents (rents net of concessions) in practically every major metro in the country.

According to a report from Dallas-based apartment research firm Axiometrics, effective rents grew 4.65 percent for the year ending February 2011, the largest such gain since the firm began tracking rent fundamentals in 1996. "I think we are going to see an even better year in 2011 than we saw in 2010," says Axiomterics president Ron Johnsey. "We are starting to see job growth come back and a near lack of new supply entering the market."'

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Posted April 01, 2011 by RentJungle

National utility companies are coming together with offers of free reviews and consultations to promote a higher standard of energy use. Property managers and owners are encouraged to receive free "Energy Reviews" to help save money and educate residents.

"The utility companies are receiving incentives and warnings from state and federal legislators to reduce their energy "footprint". As a result they've reinstituted cost-free inspections and energy-saving analyses to help customers increase their energy efficiency."

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Posted January 27, 2010 by RentJungle

According to a recent survey, over 95% of renters are planning on moving this year.This will be fantastic news for the apartment industry, if true. The survey also reinforced the importance as advertising online...as those who were moving indicated they would look there first for listings. Go to full article

more than 95% of renters said they are planning a move in 2010. Striking while their 2010 moving resolutions are hot, many renters are also moving earlier this year, searching for better deals and nicer apartments in great neighborhoods...

...nearly 60% of renter respondents moving this year said they are either paying the same or more in rent as last year. Renters are also factoring in how their new home will suit their needs and lifestyle. Some renters are looking for a more convenient commute to work, family and school while others want more space to start a family or to double up with roommates.



Posted December 01, 2009 by RentJungle

The National Association of Home Builders has released their quarterly index of apartment demand (both existing units and new constructions. New construction sentiments appear to be improving as well as future expectations for rental demand. Rent's however are not showing improvement. From the article

"While the multifamily market indices measuring current rental demand were little changed on a year-over-year basis, indices measuring expected demand for apartments in the next six months rose for all types of apartments. For lower-end apartments, the future index increased to 43.9 in the third quarter of 2009, compared to 28.2 a year earlier.

Asking rents and effective rents (net of concessions), however, do not yet show progress. In the third quarter of 2009, the index measuring asking rents dropped from 50.8 a year earlier to 41.7, while the index that measures effective rents declined from 38.5 to 26.6."

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Posted November 17, 2009 by RentJungle

The WSJ put together a great Q&A on whether now is the right time to move from renting to buying. General gist is that renting is still a great deal due to the amount of incentives that are given today. From the article

"Generally, it doesn't make sense to buy unless you expect to remain in the house for at least four or five years, because the transaction costs -- including commissions for real estate agents and mortgage fees -- are heavy.

But now is clearly a good time to rent. Many landlords need tenants badly. The national apartment-vacancy rate in the third quarter was 7.8%, the highest in 23 years, according to Reis Inc., a New York research firm. So landlords are cutting rents and offering such sweeteners as free flat-screen televisions or several months of free rent to retain or attract tenants"



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