Rental prices continue to rise nationwide

Higher rents may lead many to rethink buying a home.Demand for rental apartments continued to surge nationwide, reducing vacancy rates and driving up prices across the country.According to data released by the real estate firm Reis, the nationwide apartment vacancy rate during the first quarter of this year was just 6.2 percent. That number is down from 6.6 percent at the end of last year and 8 percent a year ago.That high demand led to a sharp increase in rates and a reduction in concessions by landlords. The average effective rent has jumped 2.5 percent over the past year to $991.Analysts also told the Wall Street Journal that those trends could continue in the coming months, as rental activity is generally slowest during the colder winter months.Higher rent prices and low mortgage rates may make it more affordable for many local families to examine Houston listings for available homes. A report from the National Association of Home Builders earlier this month said nearly three-quarters of the local homes sold during the fourth quarter of last year were “affordable” to a family with the median income.Courtesy of 2M Realty News

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