Despite housing improvement, apartment vacancy rate still low

According to a recent report released by real estate analysis firm CBRE, even though the retail housing market continued to improve in the third quarter, the national apartment vacancy rate stayed low.

The report notes that the retail housing market's slow growth continued with a 10 base point drop in availability to 12.9 percent. At the same time, the rental apartment market showed continued improvement as well, with the national vacancy rate sitting at 4.6 percent, or 40 bps lower than the third quarter of 2011.

According to the data, the rental markets with the biggest year-over-year improvements were mostly in the southern half of the U.S., with Phoenix and Houston leading the charge. In retail housing, on the other hand, two of the best-performing cities, Cleveland and Cincinnati, are both in the north. Charlotte, North Carolina reported marked improvement in both sectors.

The mutual growth of both sectors will likely soothe many worried landlords and property management officials, who have been predicting fewer incoming rental applications and the fall of the rental apartment market since the housing market began to get back on its feet. However, according to Forbes, this type of mutual improvement is temporary. As the housing market continues to grow, the source predicts that the apartment market will not fall apart entirely, but will not continue to experience the boom it has been enjoying.