Sanctuary. Adobe. Spacious. Luxurious. Vacant?? Times have changed when it comes to the words landlords used to describe the once highly competitive apartment and other rental spaces market. Apartments with 5, 10, 15+ applicants the second it is advertised has dwindled down do a couple, if that, and landlords are finding themselves desperate to fill vacancies.
If you are a renter, like myself, and able to afford city life then this is the prime-time to enter into a lease in an apartment at a lower rental cost. I have seen some of my friends move out of their beautiful high-rent apartments in attempts to save money by moving home, getting roommates or moving to a cheaper location.
Perhaps “Renters Paradise” was a little much for my blog title, but the number of vacant apartments out there is almost at unprecedented levels. Unfortunately, so too are the factors that tether this fact back to reality: unemployment and economic uncertainty.
According to a recent study, U.S. apartment vacancies are nearing a record low. Currently at 7.5% and projected to increase, the rising figure reflects the difficult economic times.
Not surprising, the struggling real estate and rental industries are accompanied by an increase in legal problems and litigation. A study conducted by LegalMatch, looking nationwide at the past 12 months saw a rise in legal inquiries across the board in the Real Estate category. Landlord tenant issues are on the rise as landlords are feeling the pinch and tenants are demanding more concessions and lower rents. I agree with a recent Yahoo News article that attributed much of the rental issues to the employment problems that have befallen the 18-24 year old category.
Obviously, the effects increased vacancies are having will not be isolated. An interesting prediction regarding falling home prices relationship to the rental market was articulated in a recent Wall Street Journal article. The author felt that falling home prices could hit landlords in two ways: “they could force landlords to lower rents to keep up, and could spur some renters to purchase homes. Still, the number of renters who move out to purchase homes isn’t expected to surpass levels seen during the housing boom earlier this decade.”
Whether a renter or buyer these are really interesting times to explore your financial options and research the best financial approach to housing for you! Don’t be afraid to negotiate your rent, demand concessions at your current location, or look into buying.