Vacancy Numbers May Be 2.2 Times Worse Than Reported
On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, the Wall Street Journal
reported that apartment vacancies had risen significantly, to a 22 year high. This report used statistics furnished by independent research firm Reis, Inc.
But a different research company, Axiometrics, Inc., reports that its findings are far worse.
Axiometrics claims superior methodology in its survey of apartment rental growth rates. Its research includes a larger percentage of properties surveyed, as many as 20,000 surveys per month. In addition, Axiometrics compares the same properties from one measurement period to the next. The same property is surveyed both first quarter and second quarter, for instance.
Axiometrics numbers are showing a vacancy rate over two times that of the Reis study in some markets, particularly in New York, San Jose, and Fairfield County. For example, in Ventura County, California, Reis shows a rental growth rate of minus 3.6%, where Axiometrics is showing minus 8.8%.
Where Reis reports an overall vacancy rate of 7.3, Axiometrics second quarter 2009 vacancy rate appears to be closer to 8%. First quarter results showed some of the worst market conditions.
The WSJ report concludes that loss of white-collar jobs is an important factor for the increase in vacancies.
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