July 1 U.S. apartment vacancy rate was unchanged
in the second quarter, while new construction rebounded as
weather improved, real estate research firm Reis Inc
said in a report released on Tuesday.
The national vacancy rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from
the first quarter but down from 4.3 percent a year earlier.
New construction rose to 33,210 units, outpacing the number
Rents remain at record-high nominal levels, although labor
market weakness is limiting landlords' ability to raise rents at
a faster pace.
"Nonetheless, landlords continue to extract whatever rent
increases they can out of their tenants, causing rents to inch
higher," Ryan Severino, senior economist for Reis, said in a
Asking rent rose 0.8 percent to an average $1,099 per month
during the second quarter. Rents had risen 0.6 percent a year
New Haven remained the tightest market in the United States,
having the lowest vacancy rate of 2.2 percent.
Reis noted strong decline in vacancy rate in markets such as
Columbia, Tucson, Omaha, Las Vegas, Richmond and Lexington.
Usually, California markets see the strongest decline in
Markets lagging during the recovery, which is now in its
fourth year, are beginning to gain ground, Reis said.
However, markets that led the recovery were losing some
steam, especially as construction there was ramping up.
Reis said 45 of the 79 markets it tracked saw a decline in
vacancy from a year earlier, while rents in all markets rose.
New York remained the most expensive market.
The average rent in New York was 47 percent higher than in
San Francisco, the second most expensive market, Reis said.
(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti