A couple sources reporting apartment vacancies shrinking; rent increases in the future

Finally there’s light at the end of the horizon for battered landlords in the downtown market, which should translate into better rents in the neighborhoods as well.  Check out the entire article over at Crain’s

After surviving a big development boom, downtown apartment owners will soon have the upper hand over tenants, allowing them to hike rents by as much as 8% to 10% in the second half of 2011, says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based research and consulting firm.

Apt Rent Occupancy

It seems that even as developers added 5,000 rental units downtown, demand still out-paced supply.  This is pretty remarkable considering the number of condominium units available for rent as owners put them up for rent when they can’t sell them.  But the rotten economy has made it far more difficult for prospects to purchase, and all those people are now renters.

Not that they’re complaining.  Most rent payments appear to be lower than the mortgage payments plus assessments and taxes would cost, as well as the added flexibility of being a renter. 

the most surprising indicator of demand is absorption, or the change in the number of occupied apartments. Downtown landlords have rented out an additional 2,076 units since the end of 2009, an 11.7% increase, according to Appraisal Research. At the current rate, 2010 will go down as the best year for absorption since at least 2001, the earliest year for which figures are available.

Silver lining, indeed?