Apartment rents continue to increase

Apartment rents are continuing their steady climb, as the growing demand for residential rental space keeps pushing up prices.

The average monthly apartment rent in the U.S. was $1,048 in the last quarter of 2012. That’s an increase of 3.8% over a year earlier, according to research firm Reis, Inc.,

The year-over-year increase is the largest since 2007.

A number of large communities saw year-over-year increases of more than 5% last year, including Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, San Jose and Baltimore.

Meanwhile, the national vacancy rate fell to 4.5%, from 4.7% in the third quarter. That’s the lowest national vacancy rate since 2001.

New York City had the country’s lowest vacancy rate, at 2.1%. The average monthly rent in New York last quarter was $2,985.

For most of the country, it’s now cheaper to buy a home than to rent one, according to an analysis by Deutsche Bank.

The company compares the average rental rate for an area to the average after-tax cost of a mortgage. In the third quarter of 2012, it found, renters paid almost 8% more than homeowners with a mortgage.

By comparison, since 1991 renters have on average paid about 15% less than homeowners.

Email us now
close slider