Houses for rent have become hot commodities in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2010. The surge in the number of renters has lowered the vacancy rates in most residential markets and pulled the rental rates to higher levels compared with previous quarters.
According to Reis Inc., vacancy rate for the third quarter of the current year in the whole U.S. is at 7.2%, which is lower than the 7.9% posted in the same quarter of 2009. The decline is one of the sharpest ever on record based on the data released by Reis. More and more people seemed to be entering the rental market despite the economic downturn and the rising unemployment rate. Normally, most residents prefer to stay put during downturns, according to a number of economists.
Landlords all over the country are reportedly taking advantage of these trends and are raising rents. Perks offered to renters have also diminished, although market analysts are predicting that landlords might be forced to offer incentives next year if the job market situation does not improve.
One of the cities with the biggest increase in houses for rent fees is New York City, which posted an average rent increase of 2.2% in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter. Average rent in the city is reportedly around $2,750. For low rental rates, renters can go to Tulsa, Oklahoma which has an average rental fee of $540. Tulsa ranked last in terms of rental fees among 82 markets canvassed by Reis.
Other cities that posted over 2% of rental rate increases during the quarter covered are Greenville in South Carolina and several suburban areas in Virginia. Meanwhile, most areas that have suffered from the foreclosure crisis posted declining rental rates, with Miami and Jacksonville in Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada recording a 0.2% decline in rental rates.
The area with the lowest vacancy rate for the quarter is New Haven, Connecticut, a favorite destination for college students. The city has a vacancy rate of 2.3%, according to Reis data. Houses for rent in New York are also scarce, with vacancy rate pegged at 3.6%. Long Island is at 3.9%.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.
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