Decreased apartment vacancies leading to higher rents

Fewer apartment vacancies are taking place nationwide.According to data recently released by property research firm Reis, the number of apartment vacancies has decreased, leading more landlords to increase rent and eliminate giveaways.Overall, the national vacancy rate for apartments fell to 6 percent during the last three months, declining from 6.2 percent during the year's first quarter and 7.8 percent during the same quarter last year. The rate during this year's second quarter was similar to the pace set by 2008's first quarter, and was the lowest since 5.7 percent recorded during the final quarter of 2007, when commercial real estate prices spiked.”The ongoing recovery and tightening vacancies continue to generate greater pricing power on the part of landlords,” Ryan Severino, an economist at Reis, said in the report. “Vacancies should continue to decline while rents rise at an even faster pace than we observed in the first half.”Rental demand has increased recently, as more Americans have been forced from their current properties due to foreclosure and mortgage regulations became tighter. The national homeownership rate fell to 66.4 percent during 2011's first quarter, which is the lowest it's been since 1998, the U.S. Census Bureau discovered.In Houston, properties for rent cost an average of $822 per month, according to recent data compiled by research firms.Courtesy of 2M Realty News?

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