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Trends in the Rental Housing Market: What is the Biggest Challenge Ahead?

Published August 8th, 2018

Churn Down, Occupancy Up.

Approximately 43 million people — more than one-third of U.S. households — live in rental housing. The condition of the rental housing market reveals several significant changes that owners and property managers need to know.

First, the influx of households into rentership is slowing for the first time in a decade. Although construction of new rental housing is still high, it is plateauing, which may have significant implications if the trend persists.

Second, the vacancy rate has increased slightly in the past year, reports the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS). A leading indicator that the tight rental market may be starting to lose traction.

According to the Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Consensus Forecast, apartment rental rate growth is expected to drop to 3% percent by 2018, and vacancy rates are expected to increase to 5.3%. That means multifamily units with the compelling extras that renters want will have the best absorption rates.

Which in-rental amenities do renters feel are worth paying a higher rent for? Of all the amenities that renters would be willing to pay higher rent for, High-Speed Internet was top 3 on the list. (Source: The 2017 American Renters Report.)  

So, how much is reasonable to increase rent? Most tenants will tolerate a rent increase of 1-5% every 1-3 years, while less than one-third feel a rent increase is ever reasonable.

At a time like this, it’s important for multifamily owners and property managers to pay close attention to in-rental amenities to stand out from other competing communities. Whether you have an Internet solution in place, or you are exploring better options, offering unique technology-based amenities to improve user experience – including high-speed internet and other wireless services for residents – can be the lynch pin to keep churn down and occupancy up.

Are you looking to attract and keep tenants? Contact us if you want to talk about WiFi and find out if it’s a good fit for your community.