Good time to raise rents in the U.S.?

Vacancies fell to a new 10-year low and average national rents rose at a pace not seen since the third quarter of 2007, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.

It’s a good time to be a landlord right now, and not so good to be a renter, is the message many Canadian investors in the U.S. are taking away from the report, which captures the increasing number of Americans  forced to move out of foreclosed properties or choosing to rent due to tight lending conditions that have sunk home ownership rates.
Canadians, on the other hand, have found investment an increasingly achievable goal, considering the nearly level exchange rates and increasing affordability of U.S. properties compared to those north of the border.
Asking rents in the U.S. averaged $1,091 per month nationally in the second quarter this year, according to Reis. On an annual basis, effective rents rose 2.2% nationwide, while no metropolitan area tracked posted a decline in the quarter.
The vacancy rate is now 4.7% nationally for apartments, down from 4.9% the prior quarter, and the lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2001.
One real estate researcher in Columbus Ohio told the Columbus Dispatch this week that rental conditions for landlords were as good as they’ve been in at least 20 years.
Fredding Mac released a 2012 Economic Outlook last month that estimated an additional 1.5 million households moved into rental housing over the year ending March 2012, a 4% increase in renter-occupied dwellings in a single year.

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