If you’re in the midst of an apartment search, a rental may be a little harder to locate these days.
According to real estate research firm REIS, apartment vacancies have fallen in recent months, a stark reversal from years past.
Higher occupancy is proving to be a game changer for renters in some cities, however.
Where demand is highest
According to apartment industry publication Multifamily Executive.com, occupancy rates for apartments are highest in these major cities:
If you are apartment searching in these cities, high occupancy rates will likely affect the ease with which you’re able to get into a new apartment. You may have to move faster to secure an apartment.
The reasons behind the apartment living boom
The popularity of renting has increased in recent years, so it’s no surprise that apartment vacancies have been falling — even as rents have risen. There are several reasons why it’s a landlord’s market:
- Stricter lending standards are forcing many renters who may have formerly qualified for mortgages to stay in leases longer.
- Young professionals, who make up a large percentage of renters, prefer the flexibility to move, when necessary, to pursue employment opportunities — all the more difficult when one owns a home.
- Job creation is on the rise. In markets where employment numbers look good, the number of available apartments is lower.
The demand for apartments has been so strong in recent months that vacancies have hit an 11-year low, according to Bloomberg.com. Construction on new multifamily units has picked up in many cities to help satisfy the demand, however.