Tag Archives: high rent

National Rents Stall For 4th Month In A Row As Multi-Family Supply Glut Takes Its Toll

After a steady march higher in the wake of the ‘great recession’ nearly a decade ago, a note today from Rent Cafe reveals that average rents in the United States have now stalled for 4 months in row with September’s national average coming in at $1,354 per month, which is virtually flat from the $1,350 average reached in the summer.

National rents have barely moved through the entire peak rental season and into September, marking the longest period of stagnation in recent history — 4 consecutive months. Coming in at $1,354 for the month of September, the average rent is only 2.2 percent higher than this time last year. This is the slowest annual growth rate we’ve seen in more than six years — having reached a high point of 5.5%-5.6% peak growth around two years ago — a pretty good indicator that the rental market has entered calmer waters.

Still, that doesn’t mean rents have flat-lined everywhere. Though nationally and in the most expensive cities for renters prices have finally come to a full stop, there are still some holdouts—and it seems renters in smaller and mid-sized cities are not yet getting a break, on the contrary.

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As we pointed out over the summer, just like almost any bubble, stagnating rents are undoubtedly the symptom of a massive, multi-year supply bubble in multi-family housing units sparked by, among other things, cheap borrowing costs for commercial builders.  Per the chart below from Goldman Sachs, multi-family units under construction is now at record highs and have eclipsed the previous bubble peak by nearly 40%.

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But, while rents are certainly slowing – and construction is indeed playing its part – the impact isn’t spread evenly across all markets as Rent Cafe notes that the construction boom in Texas has earned the state 6 out of 10 of the worst performing rental markets in the country. 

The anticipated rent drops from Hurricane Harvey have not been realized in the city of Houston, but are seen in other Texas communities, with the biggest changes being outside of Harvey’s reach, as a result of the major apartment construction taking place throughout the state. Lubbock, located on the west side of the state, came in at No. 1 for biggest year-over-year rent decreases in the nation, with rents dropping 3.4 percent since 2016.

Rents for apartments in Round Rock, a suburb outside Austin—another city barely touched by Harvey, dipped to $1,092—3.4 percent below last year’s numbers. Round Rock took the No. 2 spot for biggest rent decreases of the year.

Texas claimed the third spot, too, with McAllen’s 2.6 percent drop in rents since last year, and three other Texas towns—College Station, Waco and Plano—also made the top 10, with decreases of 2.4 percent, 2 percent, and 1.1 percent, respectively. The rest of the list was spread throughout the nation, with California’s Simi Valley taking No. 4 (down 2.6 percent), New Orleans at No. 5 (down 2.4 percent), Manhattan, NYC at No. 8 (down 1.9 percent), and Tulsa, Oklahoma at No. 9 (down 1.5 percent.)

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Meanwhile, areas with stronger job markets and/or better overall affordability are still seeing demand growth which, combined with a lack of capital investment, is driving rents considerably higher.

Though smaller and mid-sized towns used to be a haven for renters looking to avoid the sky-high prices of large urban areas, it seems those days are in the past. September’s list of fastest-growing rents is dominated by small and medium-sized towns—many boasting double-digit growth since this time last year.

The Lone Star State’s Odessa and Midland—both hubs of oil and gas activity—came in at the top two spots, with jumps of 24.7 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively. Odessa rents now clock in at $1,060 per month, while Midland’s reach even higher, coming in at $1,225.

The rest of the nation’s fastest-growing rents can be found largely on the West Coast, with California, Washington, Nevada and Colorado taking up the remaining bulk of the list. The only Northeastern cities to see big year-over-year rent growth were Buffalo, New York, with an 11.2 percent jump over 2016, and Elizabeth, New Jersey, which saw rents climb 8.5 percent to $1,187.

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Finally, here are the top 10 most and least expensive rental markets in the U.S. at the end of September 2017. To our complete lack of surprise, New York and California continue to dominate the expensive list while Southern and Midwestern markets continue to provide the best value…perhaps this is why all those domestic migration studies show a mass exodus from the cities on the left to the cities on the right? Just a hunch…

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Source: ZeroHedge

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Professional Woman Quits Expensive Rents To Live In A Van

A 31-year-old professional woman has turned her back on expensive rents and property prices – by living full time in a van. With an interior measuring just 13ft 2in long, 5ft 8in wide and 6ft 2in high, Eileah Ohning’s home is her Freightliner Sprinter High Top van. The photographic producer from Columbus, Ohio, has lived in her compact four-wheel home since May 2017. Complete with a memory foam mattress, storage compartments, a desk and a camping stove, she even has plans to add in a shower, toilet and fridge. Eileah parks her van close enough to her workplace that she never needs to worry about the morning commute and showers at her local gym.

Rents Across The US Hit A New All Time High

After dropping to an all time low 62.9% in Q2 of 2016, the US home ownership rate rebounded modestly in the subsequent two quarters, then dropped again at the start of the year, before once again rising fractionally to 63.7% in Q2 of 2017 from 63.6% in the previous quarter, just 1% from the all time lows in the series history going back to the mid 1960s.

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A breakdown of the data by age group reveals that the primary driver for this decline has been the youngest age cohort. While older Americans, especially those 65 and older, have predictably seen only modest declines in their home ownership in recent decades, it was the youngest age group, those 35 and younger, the Millennials, who over the past decade have seen their home ownership decline steadily from the low 40%’s to the mid-30%, although in Q2 there was a glimmer of good news, as the home ownership rate for Americans 35 and younger posted its first increase in 3 quarters, rising from 34.3% to 35.3%.

As shown in the chart below, the homeownership rate for Millennials has declined from 43.6% in June 2004 to 35.3% in the latest qua rter, and just shy of the lowest rate reported by the Census Bureau going back nearly a quarter century. Of note: while Millennials finally splurged on houses in the latest quarter, the home ownership rates for every other age cohort declined.

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But what was most notable in the latest Census data is that for yet another quarter, more Americans opted not to own, but rather rent, and in Q1 the median asking rent jumped by 7.4% Y/Y, from $864 in Q1 to $910.

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Broken down by region, the sharpest spike in asking rents was in the Northeast and Western regions, whose median asking rents were nearly identical, at $1,182 and $1,192, an increase of 21% and 16%, respectively.

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Finally, what makes the latest spike in rents curious is that while the homeownership vacancy rate declined in the latest quarter, the rental vacancy rate actually increased to 7.3% from 7.0%, the highest since Q1 2016. The rental vacancy has been increasing since Q2 2016 when it troughed at 6.7%, and has since posted four quarters of consecutive growth. It would seem counter intuitive that the vacancy rate is rising even as median asking rents are hitting new all time highs.

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While a new record in rents is hardly what Americans want to hear, it will be music to the Fed’s ears as it means that contrary to various other calculations and imputations, inflation in the US is alive and well.

Source: ZeroHedge

Can’t Afford A Shanghai Apartment? Try Sleeping In A “Shared Compartment”

(ZeroHedge) Shanghai’s status as an emerging tech hub is bringing with it problems related to overcrowding experienced by US cities like San Francisco and certain parts of New York City – namely out-of-control rents and home prices.

But now, the cities’ mid-tier office drones, some of whom may not have enough cash saved to “commit” to an apartment, have a new low-cost housing alternative. They’re called shared compartments, and they’re are popping up in office buildings around Shanghai. Users pay to sleep in the compartments for a set amount of time. They’re given disposable bedding to make sleeping more comfortable, and the compartments are disinfected automatically by ultraviolet light after each use.

Photos of these compartments have been circulating on Chinese media:

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/2017.07.15Shanghaione_0.JPGPeople can enjoy a rest in the compartment by scanning the QR codes for payment.

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A man experiences a shared compartment in Shanghai…

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The inside of a shared compartment…

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The disposable bedding…

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They have been rising precipitously now for at least a decade, with an average 1,000 square foot apartment in Shanghai going for $725,000, or around five million yuan. Shanghai’s average salary per month is 7,108 yuan ($1,135) or 85,300 yuan a year. That puts local property in Shanghai at about 50 times median salaries in the city, according to Forbes. By comparison, housing prices in New York City are 32 times salaries of average New Yorkers.

With those figures in mind, showering at the company gym doesn’t sound so bad.


Living in a box: The desperate workers forced to live in tiny ‘coffin’ apartments of Tokyo – which still cost up to £400 a month to rent

  • Japanese capital is one of the most crowded cities in the world
  • ‘Geki-sema’ or share houses are mainly used by young professionals
  • No windows and enough room for one person and a few possessions
They are barely large enough for a single person to squeeze into at all, let alone swing a cat.

But incredibly these tiny ‘coffin’ apartments in central Tokyo still command rents of up to £400 a month.

The Japanese capital is one of the most crowded cities in the world, and to cash in on the chronic housing problem, landlords have developed what are known as ‘geki-sema’ or share houses.

https://i2.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/02/28/article-0-1859C822000005DC-752_634x356.jpgTight squeeze: A Tokyo local shows a Japanese news crew around her tiny ‘coffin apartment’

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Pokey: People are paying up to £400-a-month to live in the tiny ‘coffin’ apartments

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Party time: The news team somehow manage to all squeeze inside the miniscule apartment

They are little more than cupboards, tiny cubicles stacked on top of each other with just enough room for one person and a few of their possessions.

Definitely not for the claustrophobic, many don’t even have windows and the doors and anyone over 6ft tall would have trouble stretching their legs.

Most are used by young professionals who spend most of their time at work and outdoors, using these tiny accommodations just for sleeping.

The photo’s of the apartments in the Tokyo’s Shibuya district come from a recent Japanese news program showed

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Tight squeeze: A man shows off his tiny Tokyo apartment with just enough room to stretch out and hang his clothes.

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Cosy: The tiny cubicles are often stacked on top of each other and contain just enough room for one person to stretch out

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Entertaining friends: The apartments tend to be used by young professionals who spend most of their time at work and outdoors

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No space like home: Many of the ‘geki-sema’ share houses don’t even have windows