National rental vacancies drop to end 2012

Apartment vacancies fell to end 2012.

More property management companies possibly experienced a decline in multifamily vacancies during the final quarter of 2012.

There was a total multifamily vacancy rate of 8.7 percent during the last three months of the year, according to a report from the Census Bureau. This was a 0.7 percentage point drop the same three-month period during 2011. Meanwhile, the figure rose 0.1 percentage point from the third quarter’s figure.

Despite the slight quarterly gain, there may be more good news for property management companies in the residential sector. The fourth quarter’s homeownership rate fell to 65.4 percent during the period, the report explained. This was 0.6 percentage points lower than the fourth quarter in 2011. The figure was also 0.1 percent lower than the third quarter’s level.

While rental vacancy rates continued to fall to end 2012, the rental price level increased markedly during December. Overall, rental prices improved more than 5 percent in December compared to the same month in 2011, according to a report from Trulia. There was also rental gains that outpaced this figure in 17 of the 25 major metro areas examined in the report.

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