Thursday, October 6, 2011

U.S. Apartment Vacancies Fall to Five Year Low

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.

Mounting foreclosures, tighter credit for homebuyers and young people moving out on their own have increased demand for apartments after the vacancy rate reached a three-decade high of 8 percent at the end of 2009. Leasing may be starting to cool as the U.S. unemployment rate sticks above 9 percent and concern grows that the economy is weakening, Reis said.

Renewed weakness in the labor market slowed a wave of young people moving out of their parents’ homes or leaving roommates to rent their own place, a phenomenon known as unbundling, said Donald Davidoff, head of marketing for Archstone, the apartment owner based in Englewood, Colorado. The U.S. economy added zero jobs in August, the weakest reading since September 2010, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent, according to the Labor Department. Read the Full Story at Bloomberg News.