Is It More Expensive To Rent in 2012?

TransUnion, one of the three national credit bureaus, conducted a survey in June 2012 of 1,248 property managers.  The responders consisted of 1,107 small property managers, who managed 200 or fewer units, and 141 large property managers, who managed over 200 units.  Both large and small property managers were able to raise rent from the previous year and still increase occupancy.

Survey Highlights

48 percent of the property managers said rental prices on the majority of their units increased over the prior year, compared to 39 percent in 2011 or a 9 percent increase.  46 percent of small property managers said rental prices increased in 2012, compared to 36 percent in 2011 or a 10 percent increase. 70 percent of large property managers said rental prices increased in 2012, compared to 64 percent in 2011 or a 6 percent increase.

44 percent said rental prices remained the same in 2012, compared to 48 percent in 2011 or a 4 percent decrease.

73 percent said that it was not difficult to find residents, compared to 67 percent in 2011 or a 6 percent increase.

83 percent said vacancy rates were 5 percent or under in 2012, compared to 81 percent in 2011 or a 2 percent increase. 64 percent of large property managers’ vacancy rates were 5 percent or under in 2012, compared to 60 percent in 2011 or a 4 percent increase. 70 percent of the small property managers’ vacancy rates were 5 percent or under in 2012, compared to 66 percent in 2011 or a 4 percent increase.

53 percent of responders had a renter “skip out” leaving the unit with unpaid rent or damages. Almost 50 percent of small property managers said they’ve had someone skip out of their rental unit. 18 percent of the property managers had a tenant “skip out” in the last year.

”Even with a healthier rental market, property managers continue to be concerned with attracting profitable and reliable residents for the remainder of the year. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they are concerned or very concerned to find such tenants. Though this number is down from 65 percent in last year’s survey, it does point to the continued unease about the economy and a lingering question about the ability of tenants to make timely rental payments,” said Steve Roe, vice president, TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions.

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Because many have lost their homes due to foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy, the apartment rental industry has been able to increase rates and still increase occupancy. Younger adults are delaying home purchases and staying in apartments longer.  Homeownership isn’t the dream it used to be, with so many underwater in their mortgages. If you want to purchase a home, you need to save up for a down payment, be able to make the payments and have good credit.