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Houston-area apartments saw another month of declining average rents in May, a month that is usually in the midst of an annual upswing in the industry, driven by an exodus of renters.

“The months of March-April-May and into July, those are the months where we see more demand. And so rents rise year after year, but this is a drastic change from that and understandably so,” said Bruce McClenny, president of ApartmentData.com, a firm that tracks the multifamily industry.

Across the Houston area, rents are down by an average of 1.2% in May, to $1,046, compared to March and are at their lowest mark overall in six months, and some of Houston’s market areas are down by 4% or more.

One key factor is that for the first time in over a decade, more people are leaving apartments than signing up for new leases, leading to negative absorption, an indicator of supply and demand. In May, Houston typically sees around 1,800 net leases; this May it was minus 200. Occupancy rates dipped below 89% as well, according to ApartmentData.com.

“More people moving out than moving in, so there’s less people living in apartments,” he said.

Publication: Community Impact Houston

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