Add Fitch Ratings to the number of people seeing apartment rents hitting their pre-recession peak. Last week, the New York-based ratings agency said its sector was approaching highs in rent, vacancies and pricing.
Fitch cites REIS data saying that the national vacancy rate is 5.2 percent--the lowest since 2001. (It rose to 8 percent in 2009.) There is still room to grow in pricing, through. Fitch’s data, combined with a report from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, shows that while apartment prices have risen since late 2009, they remain about 25 percent below peak. Of course, some markets like coastal gateways are approaching peak.
Citing U.S. Census data that says the 20 to 34-year-old population will grow from 66 million this year to almost 70 million by 2025, plus low supply, Fitch remains optimistic we aren’t entering a rental bubble.
“While occupancy and rents suggest multifamily may be nearing pre-recession peaks, the downside risk is not the same.There are several longer term factors that are positive signs for multifamily,” Fitch reports.
Do you agree with Fitch? Or do you see clouds on the horizon for the apartment business?