Boston Real Estate for Sale

Nick Timiraos at the WSJ reports on the apartment rental market:

Nationally, the apartment vacancy rate stayed flat at 8%, the highest level since Reis Inc., a New York research firm, began its tally in 1980…. Nationally, effective rents, which include concessions such as one month of free rent, rose 0.3% during the quarter compared with a 0.7% decline in the fourth quarter of last year and a 1.1% drop in the first quarter of 2009. …

“Rent reductions are not over yet,” said Hessam Nadji, managing director at real-estate firm Marcus & Millichap.

Rents plunged in 2009 by the most in the 30 years that Reis has been tracking rents – and with vacancies at record levels, the slight increase in Q1 2010 rents doesn’t mean the rent declines are over.

On another note, I thought this was an interesting observation, how more affluent renters are opting to stay in their apartments longer:

Renters are also staying put longer: the average renter now stays for 19 months, up from an average of 14 months, said Mr. Friedman, and despite low mortgage rates and greater home affordability, fewer renters are leaving to buy homes.

“This is the first time in many, many years that it feels like even people who could afford to buy are making the investment decision not to,” Mr. Friedman said.

My observations, at least in the Beacon Hill area, is that more landlords are willing to provide concessions, such as paying 1/2 or all the broker’s fee. I don’t see as many out of state transfers coming into our office as in years past, except for those in MGH internships.

What are your observations? If you’re a renter did your rent go up this year? Landlords, are you planning to increase rents this September? Also, if you’re a landlord, how does the vacancy rate look like this year?

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