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Apartment Vacancy Rate Declined to 4.5% in Q4 2012
Bill McBride / Calculated Risk / January 8, 2013
Reis reported that the apartment vacancy rate fell to 4.5% in Q4, down from 4.7% in Q3 2012. The vacancy rate was at 5.2% in Q4 2011 and peaked at 8.0% at the end of 2009.
Some data and comments from Reis Senior Economist Ryan Severino:
Vacancy declined by another 20 bps during the fourth quarter to 4.5%. This exceeded performance during the third quarter when vacancy declined by 10 bps. On a year-over-year basis, the vacancy rate declined by 70 bps.
There was a bit of a resurgence in demand for apartment units during the fourth quarter when 45,162 units were absorbed. This represents an increase versus the 24,951 units that were absorbed during the third quarter but a slight decrease versus the 47,396 units that were absorbed during the fourth quarter of 2011. Net absorption has been consistently positive since the second quarter of 2009. For the calendar year 2012, 138,155 units were absorbed. This is a decline from the 172,707 units that were absorbed during calendar year 2011.This decline is not surprising. The market has tightened considerably over the last few years and at this point in the cycle a slight slowing should be anticipated.
New construction also increased during the quarter. 24,614 units were delivered during the fourth quarter, versus 17,378 units during the third quarter. This is also an increase compared to the 10,145 units that were delivered during the fourth quarter of 2011. This is the third consecutive quarter of construction increases and the highest level of quarterly completions since the second quarter of 2010. For calendar year 2012, 66,846 units were completed. This is an increase versus the 42,290 that were completed during 2011.