Tuesday, October 27, 2015

U.S. Census: Portland Vacancy Rate Increases Slightly

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that the rental vacancy rate for the Portland-Vancouver- Hillsboro metro area was 5.1 percent for the third quarter of 2015. Despite local survey reports to the contrary, the U.S. Census Bureau data has shown an increase in the Portland vacancy rate from 2.7% in Q1 to 5.1% in Q3.

In every survey over the past two years, Portland metro has ranked consistently among the nation's lowest vacancy rates. In this latest Census Bureau Report, Portland metro is tied for 24th lowest with Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue was in a 2-way tie with San Diego for 4th place with vacancies at 2.0%, down from 4% the prior quarter.

The nation's lowest vacancy rates were as follows:
  • Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI - 0.9%
  • Greensboro-High Point, NC - 1.0%
  • Worcester, MA - 1.6
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, CA [TIE] - 2.0%
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA [TIE]
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH - 2.8%
  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI [TIE]
  • New Haven-Milford, CT [TIE]
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 3.1%
  • Raleigh, NC - 3.2%
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - 3.6%
  • Providence-Warwick, RI-MA [TIE]
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA [TIE]
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC - 3.9%
  • Knoxville, TN [TIE]
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI [TIE}
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL -4.1%
  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN - 4.5%
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA [TIE]
  • Richmond, VA - 4.7%
  • Fresno, CA - 5.0%
  • North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL [TIE]
  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT - 5.1%
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA [TIE]
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q3 2015 was 7.3 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units, and was 0.1 percent lower than a year earlier. The U.S. rental vacancy rate has been falling since 2009. It is at its lowest level since 1993 and far below the 11 percent average vacancy rate of 2009.

Although rents in the West and specifically Portland metro lead the nation, average rents remained flat.

U.S. Homeownership Rate Remains Flat
U.S. Homeownership rates have fallen from a recent high of 65.1 percent at the end of 2013 to an estimated 63.5 percent in Q3 2015. Homeownership remains at its lowest level in 22 years.

Homeownership rates in the Western U.S. increased slightly from 58.5 to 58.7 percent, near its 24-year low.

[Note: The US Census vacancy estimate is 2.23% higher than the vacancy rate of 2.87% reported by MultifamilyNW in its Fall, 2015 Apartment Report.]

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