Average rental apartment rates increased in Broward and Palm Beach counties in the second quarter and may keep rising into next year.
The average monthly rent for an apartment in Broward County during the April-June period was $1,215, up 4.2 percent from the same period last year, according to New York-based research firm Reis Inc.
The average monthly rent for a Palm Beach County apartment was $1,229 from April through June, up 3.8 percent from the same period last year, Reis reported.
The housing recession in the late 2000s brought apartment construction to a near standstill, and the inventory remains tight.
Rents have been on a steady increase in recent years. They may rise further but not faster next year as new apartment buildings in Broward and Palm Beach, said Michael Steinberg, a Reis associate.
Housing analyst Mike Larson with Weiss Research said higher rents eventually will encourage more renters to become home owners, but “it just seems to proceed at a glacial pace.”
Several new apartment complexes have opened recently, including Cameron Estates, a 548-unit rental development across from the Palm Beach Outlets shopping center in West Palm Beach. The 349-unit second phase of the New River Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale will open soon, said a spokeswoman for the project.
But L. Keith White, president of Reinhold P. Wolff Economic Research in Oakland Park, said renters face a difficult environment: “It’s difficult to find an apartment, and when they do, they’re going to pay hefty for it.” [Sun Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth