Real Estate

Rental vacancies at lowest rate since 2002

The national residential rental vacancy rate in the second quarter was at 8.6% from 8.8% in the first quarter, the lowest second quarter reading since 2002, the Department of Commerce Census Bureau reported on Friday.

While the diminishing supply is bad news for the multitudes of former homeowners now looking to rent.

The asking rent for the quarter was at $716, slightly cheaper than the first quarter’s $721 but above 2Q 2011’s $684.

While homeowners may face higher rent given the diminishing vacancy rate, Capital Economics said in a statement that the below-trend-level vacancy rate of single-family rental homes is “likely to come as welcome news to the growing number of institutional investors who are building portfolios of single-family rental properties.”

According to the Commerce Department, the rental vacancy rate was the lowest in the Northeast at 6.7%, and highest in the South at 11%.

The rates in the Northeast and West were not statistically different from each other, and while rental vacancy rate in the Midwest was lower than this time last year, the rates in the Northeast, South and West were not statistically different from the corresponding 2011 quarter.

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