For the past year, apartment buildings have been one of the few bright spots in the real-estate industry as people forced out of the home-buying market by foreclosures or the credit crunch have turned to renting.
But now the specter of job losses is beginning to spread the gloom into that sector as well. As would-be renters are doubling up in apartments or moving in with friends and families, rents and occupancy rates are beginning to fall in many cities.
"In many markets, our new prospects are beginning to resist the current and increasing levels of market rents we've enjoyed over the past quarter," David Neithercut, chief executive of Equity Residential, told investors during this month's earnings call. While the Chicago-based apartment owner, one of the largest in the U.S., reported an increase in funds from operations of 1.5% last quarter, it lowered its estimates for comparable-property revenue growth.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Weak Economy Hurting Rental Real Estate
The housing bust had been pushing up rents as former homeowners became renters. Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, the weak economy is hurting the rental market.