The slump in the economy continues to drag on the multi-family business


Real estate research firm Reis Inc. released its second quarter statistics and validated what those of us in the multi-family business have been experiencing: the poor job market is driving vacancies to level we haven’t see for 20 years.

According to Reis, concessions are helping to bolster occupancy, with effective rents down nearly 1% from the first quarter of the year.

The outlook for recovery doesn’t look good until 2010, says Reis, a slightly more bullish outlook than we heard at NAA in Las Vegas last month.

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U.S. apartment vacancies near historic high: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The vacancy rate for U.S. apartments reached its highest level in more than 20 years in the second quarter and could soon exceed record highs if the recession persists, real estate research firm Reis Inc said.

The national vacancy rate rose to 7.5 percent, the highest since 1987 and an increase of 1.4 percentage points from last year, according to a report Reis released on Wednesday. The record high was 7.8 percent in 1986.

Second-quarter asking rent fell 0.7 percent from a year earlier to $1,040 a month, and 0.6 percent from the prior quarter, the largest single quarterly decline since Reis began tracking quarterly data in 1999.

When free months of rent and other incentives landlords are using to lure tenants are factored in, effective rent was down 1.9 percent from the prior year and 0.9 percent from the first quarter to $975, Reis said.