Where Have All The Renters Gone?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

July 2009

In difficult economic times, do you ever wonder where all the renters have gone? After all it’s not as though there are fewer people in the world? We’re finding that a number of our residents are simply pulling back. A number of residents seem to be moving in with roommates or moving back home with their parents. Certainly, there are a number of factors at play. Though purportedly lower in the city, the unemployment rate in the state is nearly 10%. Nationally it’s nearly 9%, in Michigan it’s about 15%!

I read an interesting article recently published by CB Richard Ellis (“Where have all the renters gone”). It highlighted how many options renters now have and suggests that the apartment market is caught in a “perfect storm”. According to their sources there is a record inventory of single family houses and condominiums for rent. This inventory, coupled with falling home prices, is giving apartment renters more options; and creating more competition for landlords. Every time I drive around town and still see condominium projects being topped off, I continue to wonder how the infusion of that inventory will impact our apartment vacancies and rates.

I then remind myself how important it is for us to be creative, aggressive and especially attentive to prospective and existing residents right now.