Slowing home sales are driving higher occupancy rates in rental housing throughout the county, driving up rental rates, according to the San Diego County Apartment Association’s 2006 fall survey.
“There is a perception right now among residents that slowing home sales may lead to lower home prices,” said Robert Pinnegar, the association’s executive director. “As a result, fewer residents have left the rental housing market as they wait for prices to bottom out before they buy, which means we are seeing fewer vacancies.”
– The countywide vacancy rate has decreased from 3.4 percent in the spring to 3.1 percent, representing more than 13,500 vacant units.
– The average countywide rental rate was $1,237 for all unit types, with an overall rate of increase of 5.8 percent since fall 2005.
“Rents have gone up as a whole, but the increased availability rate and lowered rents in certain sub-markets send mixed signals as to whether this demand will continue in the long run,” said Pinnegar. “Owners are adjusting rents according to their particular properties, taking into consideration the influence of a cooling for-sale market.”
The greatest demand is for newer units, built fewer than six years ago, according to the report, while fewer vacancies were reported for properties within the city of San Diego than from other regions of the county.
, Pat Broderick