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8/8/2012 - Vacancies down, rates up among rental units

Rental vacancies have fallen.

With the state of housing showing signs of improvement, the rental market may already be in recovery mode, a new study suggests.

According to TransUnion, which surveyed approximately 1,250 rental property managers throughout the country, rates for apartments have edged higher this year compared to last. Approximately half - 48% - of respondents said rental prices on their units had increased when contrasted with the same time last year.

"Data throughout the last year has pointed to a healthier rental market, and our survey helps validate the current strength of the rental industry," said TransUnion's vice president of rental screen solutions Steve Roe. "The rise in rental prices, coupled with a decrease in vacancy rates and the ability to attract new residents with less effort are all positive signs for the market and rental property managers."

Another indication of a healthy rental market is the limited number of vacancies. Approximately 70% of small property managers said they had zero vacancies, up from 66% in 2011. This may suggest more residents are securing renters insurance, so they can guard against any potential losses they may experience while renting.

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