Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Phila.-area apartment market bouncing back

"The apartment market throughout the region appears to have stabilized and is showing signs of strength, according to a midyear report.

Vacancy rates declined, rents rose and concessions have fallen at apartment complexes throughout Center City, the western suburbs and South Jersey. This means the local economy continues to gain strength as people gain employment and no longer need to temporarily live with family or double up roommates to make ends meet, and landlords are beginning to gain the upper hand again, drawing to a close a market in which renters got free rent and other lucrative terms.

While the national apartment vacancy rate came in at 7.8 percent, the overall vacancy rate for the Philadelphia metropolitan area stood at 4.2 percent, down from 6.9 percent at the midpoint last year, according to Delta Associates, an Arlington, Va., real estate research firm. Rents across the metro area rose 3.8 percent compared with the second quarter last year.

The best showing was in Center City, where the vacancy rate dropped to 1.9 percent from 7.6 percent at the same point last year, and rents zoomed upward by 7.4 percent to an average of $1,918, or $1.88 a square foot. South Jersey also made gains, outpacing Philadelphia’s western suburbs. South Jersey’s vacancy rate more than halved to 4 percent from 8.4 percent and Camden County had the lowest vacancy rate at 3.4 percent. Monthly rents in South Jersey were also zooming upward by 4.6 percent to an average of $1,316. In the western suburbs, vacancy slid down slightly to 5.4 percent from 6.1 percent."

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