Here’s some news from the Merc (motto: Also available on paper!) that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who studied economics.
By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
Posted: 01/21/2013 05:47:55 PM PST; Updated: 01/22/2013 05:25:31 AM PST
The torrid pace of rent increases in the Bay Area is slowing, according to a survey of apartment complexes released Monday.
Average rents in the East Bay, Peninsula and San Francisco were nearly unchanged in the fourth quarter of last year and declined slightly in the South Bay, according to RealFacts, a Novato consulting group that tracks rents in apartment complexes with 50 or more units. That compares with the first half of the year, when some areas saw quarterly increases of 4 percent.
Some renters may be deciding that interest rates and low prices have made the time right to buy a condo, and that may account for some of the leveling off of rents, a RealFacts representative said. Occupancy rates for apartments have flattened out while condo sales were in the double digits in December from a year earlier in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
This is supply and demand. If people are buying houses, then they don’t need apartments. If people are buying houses, they don’t need to rent them, either. So who loses in a hot housing market? The landlord.
Are you noticing rents flattening, or even going down? Are more people moving because they bought something, or do new renters spring up instantly to replace them? Are your rental properties still generating long lines and people offering to fight each other for the right to write you checks?