Apartment Glut May Tame Rising Rents


apartment constructionHome builders and investors have poured money into so many new rental units that tenants may see rent growth slow in the near future, one economist said.

While there will likely be “robust demand” in 2015 from renters — and young adults, in particular — builders have already started and plan to start enough new apartment projects that the days of excess demand may soon be over, said Ryan Severino, senior economist at Reis, a New York-based research firm focused on commercial real estate.

“Demand will struggle to keep pace with the significant amounts of new construction that should come online over the next few years,” Severino said.

Growth in rents over coming years should remain positive, according to Reis, but it will likely slow from 2014’s heady pace of about 3.5%, which far outpaced overall consumer inflation.

“Although an improving labor market with more jobs and faster wage growth should provide landlords with more leverage to increase rents, over time this will be stymied by the sheer number of new units that are going to come online, increasing competition in the market,” Severino said.


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