Property management situations improve in 2012

The property management situation has improved.

Many property management companies may have experienced a better start to the year than during 2011, according to a report from TransUnion.

Close to half of those surveyed explained that their rental prices have improved over the past year compared to the same point last year, while 2011's survey found that only 39 percent experienced an increase. Another 44 percent noted that the rental prices for their properties have not changed, which was slightly lower than last year's figure of 48 percent, the report explained.

When splitting up small and large property management companies, the differences in price increases was significant for both, the report noted. A total of 46 percent of small property managers experienced a rise in prices this year, while last year's reading only had a 36 percent increase. When examining large property managers, seven in 10 experienced rental price increases this year, while last year's figure was 64 percent.

"Data throughout the last year has pointed to a healthier rental market, and our survey helps validate the current strength of the rental industry," said Steve Roe, vice president of TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions. "The rise in rental prices, coupled with a decrease in vacancy rates and the ability to attract new residents with less effort are all positive signs for the market and rental property managers."

While rental prices are continuing to rise for most property managers, demand has not fallen, the report explained. Close to three-quarters of property managers explained that it has not been problematic to find those interested in renting. In 2011, this figure was at 67 percent.

Vacancy rates have also improved significantly, the company said. A total of 83 percent of respondents explained that their vacancy rates have been between 5 percent and completely filled. Last year, this was 81 percent. When examining large and small property managers, the former experienced this statistic rise to 64 percent this year, up from last year's 60 percent. Seven in 10 small property managers said the same thing, while last year, only 66 percent reported such success.

The report added that some property managers are still concerned about being able to keep these statistics at such high levels, and said the economy and reliability of tenants have played a factor in their hesitancy.

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