Apartments are in vogue again now that home ownership proves less user-friendly for some and out of reach for so many others.
Since most families decide to move and lease new apartments during the second and third quarters when school is out, the fourth quarter is usually a weak period for the apartment market.
But, not this year. National apartment vacancies fell by half a percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, from 7.1% to 6.6%, according to Reis, Inc. Close to 58,000 new units were filled.
The trend appears to be real. This drop in the vacancy rate follows one of the sharpest drops on record during the third quarter, on top of the fact that the fourth quarter is usually prone to seasonal weakness.
As a result of this new demand, asking and effective rents each grew by 0.5 percent.