Rental residences harder to find

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 8:09am

It's been a roller coaster couple of years for the real estate market. But one industry that's coming out on top? Rental properties. The vacancy rate shrunk to a 10-year low of 5.2 in the last quarter, according to realtors. That means for every 100 properties, only 5 are available for occupancy.

The demand is partly because young professionals are more likely to move where the jobs are, avoiding putting down permanent roots until the know the market better, according to Stephanie Campbell of Dowling Property Management. "If you're going to be moving every couple of years, you just don't always want the responsibility. You want to get to know the area better before you buy," she said.

But all that demand is driving prices up. The average rental is about $869 today, up almost $40 from a year ago, according to TransUnion.

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