The Austin apartment market is still on fire, seeing rents and occupancy rates at the highest levels in since 1991. Statesman.com reports on what this means for the market and for renters.
The occupancy rate is at 97.8 percent and the average rent is $953, $53 over the average a year ago. While there are over 10,000 units on dock to be built, demand is still much higher than supply. The shortage is especially obvious in and near downtown, including 78704.
Caprice Capri, a cook at Austin's Pizza on South Lamar, is having trouble finding a unit she can rent on her meager salary. Her situation isn't unique among those looking to rent in Austin. Due to healthy job growth and newcomers flocking to Austin to the tune of 50,000 newbies a year, compounded by the fact that there have not been many new units built during the recession, the area's apartment market is now one of the hottest markets in the country. Experts don't see any relief for a while, at least until the end of 2013.
The 10,604 apartments currently under construction, as well as the 8,800 still in the planning stages, put Austin as the home of some of the most aggressive apartment construction in the country. However, it won't make a dent in the demand. Apartment construction is still way behind its peak levels; 15,000 units were built in 2008 alone. People aren't expected to stop coming to Austin anytime soon. Austin is one of the tech-oriented markets that is predicted to continue to see a lot of rent increases through 2017 as job growth continues to result in increased rent demand.
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