National occupancy rates high

Multifamily Executive reports that recent data shows rental properties experienced major improvements in occupancy in 2011.

New York City's vacancy rate dropped to 2.4 percent, according to data and analysis firm Reis, compared to an average of 5.2 percent for the nation as a whole.

Nationally, Asking and effective rents each rose during the last quarter despite a seasonal slowdown that experts consider fairly typical, with 90 percent of markets tracked by the firm reporting effective rent increases. The largest, MFE notes, was a 1.7 percent increase in San Francisco.

MPF Research, another real estate data firm, reported New York City's occupancy rate as 97.4 percent, slightly lower but still the nation's second-best. That firm's information found only Pittsburgh had higher occupancy rates, although Minneapolis, San Jose and Boston were all within 0.6 percent.
One MPF researcher and analyst recently noted that rent growth is slowing in a recent webinar, according to the source, but suggested this is a natural result of the recent improvement. Rental property management firms and other industry stakeholders should not necessarily take it as a negative sign, with rents up about 7 percent since 2009.