Yes, it's been a fine year
to be a renter. First came the reduced rental rates caused by a wave of additional housing inventory. (Thanks, troubled housing market!)
Next came landlords who were willing to negotiate. Some even courted their renters by throwing in some extras and freebies
to entice. By January 2010 apartment vacancies hit a 30-year high!
Is the party nearing an end? Sadly yes, as early as next year or 2012, predicts The Wall Street Journal
So, it might be prudent to lock in your long-term lease now....
The reason is that this year, REITs (real-estate investment trusts) are expected to kick off almost $1 billion in new multifamily projects, according to real estate research firm Green Street Advisors. A billion dollars is still less than average but significantly more than the $100 million in 2009 development starts.
New housing supply and an improving economy could lead to ideal market conditions for landlords in the next eighteen to twenty-four months. That spells more money for landlords by about 2015. The 'lords will feel confident about the market and that can only mean reduced concessions and raised rents.
What else? Those pesky demographics in the years ahead are going to be working against you, dear renter. The prime renting age group, 20-34
, is expected to increase by five million people
in the next decade according to the real estate investment brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap.
More immediately, the people who have doubled up with roommates or (gasp!) moved in with their parents
during the downturn will start looking for their own place as the economy improves. So long, plentiful studios and one-bedrooms!
So, if you're happy with your situation now, lock it in, and if not... time to get shopping for a new place before the deals lessen and the competition increases. (You can find your next apartment here on RentedSpaces