(NEW YORK) — Rents are rising and apartment vacancy rates are falling in many cities across the U.S.
The latest report by Reis, the real estate research firm, says the vacancy rate fell to 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year — the lowest since 2001.
The findings offer little relief to renters, who have seen rents rise at a faster rate than wages or inflation. Landlords charged 3.2 percent more in 2013, but the increases were more in some parts of the country.
“Demand for apartments remains strong,” says the report. “There are a number of markets where rents continue to boom such as Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland-East Bay.”
The building slump during the housing crisis meant little new supply and put landlords in a strong position, allowing them to charge more.
As the construction industry recovers, Reis expects vacancies to increase slightly in 2014 while rents rise by about 3.3 percent — similar to last year.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Herb Scribner, Deseret News