WASHINGTON – June 22, 2015 – Apartments are filling up nationwide. The national occupancy rate in May reached 95.3 percent, the highest ever, reports Axiometrics, a real estate analytics firm.
"The May rate historically is the start of each year's occupancy peak, meaning occupancy should remain at the current level or higher," says Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics' vice president of research.
Higher occupancy rates have come with higher rents. In May, rents rose 5 percent nationally, making it the fourth consecutive month at or above that mark.
"Owners and investors are having a profitable start to the year," McCleskey says.
Apartment demand has been high from millennials who are forming their own households as well as baby boomers looking to downsize, CNBC reports.
Laurie Goodman, director of the housing finance policy center at the Urban Institute, recently published a paper claiming that the rental surge will only get bigger. Goodman predicts that out of the 22 million households formed in the next 20 years, 13 million will be renters.
"We are nowhere near building enough to meet demand," Goodman says.
Source: "Apartment Occupancy at All-Time High: Here's Why," CNBC (June 18, 2015)
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