The Real Deal New York

National rental apartment shortage worsened by delayed demand

January 25, 2012 11:00AM

A surge in demand for rental apartments coupled with few new developments in construction has led to a 2.5 million- apartment unit shortfall across the nation, according to a data from trade group Nareit, cited by the Wall Street Journal.

In the fourth quarter, the national apartment vacancy rate fell to 5.2 percent — the lowest level since 2001 – and could fall even further in 2012 as a result of pent-up demand.

People who delayed moving because of the flailing economy are now looking for units to rent, said Calvin Schnure, vice president of research and industry information at Nareit, constituting a demand of about “three times what it has been in previous business cycles.”

He added: “The fun is just about to begin. It’s going to take some time for these households to move up. It’s a question of when it’s going to be realized. Even if you take a fairly conservative assumption,” it could be several years.” [WSJ]