Apartment vacancies may rise next year

Apartment vacancies may increase.

The multifamily sector could experience a slightly higher vacancy level next year, but property management companies may not see a significant difference from past years.

Next year, the vacancy rate for multifamily properties should be 5.3 percent, which is a jump from the third quarter's level of 4.5 percent, according to a report from CBRE Group. For this year, the figure should be 5 percent, which is 0.4 percent lower than last year's figures, as well as down significantly from 2009. That year had the peak level of 7.3 percent.

"It is a great time to own multi-housing properties: apartment demand is benefiting from the slowly recovering economy as well as rapidly expanding pool of renter households," said Gleb Nechayev, senior managing economist for CBRE Econometric Advisors.

Next year, there should be approximately 190,000 units added to the market's inventory, which is in line with the average from 1998 to 2008, the report added. The rise next year may not last for long, as the vacancy rate should fall to 5.2 percent by 2014.

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