Housing Rents Falling in the USA
Asking rents fell 0.1 percent from the previous quarter, to $1,052 on average, their first quarter-to-quarter decline in almost six years. They rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier. Effective rents, what tenants actually paid, fell to an average $996 last quarter, down 0.4 percent from the prior quarter and up 2.2 percent from a year earlier.
Anthony De Silva said he was not happy that he had become a landlord. He bought a two-bedroom condominium 18 months ago on the ocean in Hollywood, Florida, expecting to sell at a $100,000 profit. Instead, he is now looking for tenants at $1,700 a month.
“Increasing vacancies does not bode well for rental incomes,” said Nabil El-Hage, a professor at Harvard Business School. “We’ve seen a softening in apartment REITs as a result.”
So for renters nationwide this is one possible silver lining to the current economic crisis. Granted not a large one but in these times any good news is worth appreciating. For real estate investors the news is not as good. The Washington DC market is forecast to go against the trend for reduced rents in 2009.
According to Marus and Millichap, Metrowide vacancy is expected to rise 60 basis points this year to 6.5 percent. Asking rents are projected to advance 3.1 percent to $1,410 per month in 2009, while effective rents increase 2.8 percent to $1,351 per month. Rent growth will lag slightly in Suburban Maryland. Of the 43 rental market they track they project San Francisco to see the largest increases in rent in 2009, followed by San Diego and Washington DC.