Ten Days of Buzz, July 21-31: Value-Based Rent Increases, an Olympic Vacation Rental Hoodwink, and the Condo Test-Drive

Have you been watching Americans make history at the Olympics? It’s pretty mesmerizing. But life went on as normal this week as well–and here’s the buzz from the world of rental real estate. (Of course, there are a couple of Olympic stories in there…)

“We believe we provide the customer service our residents expect and they’ll see value in their increases. When you live up to what you’re selling in the very beginning, people are open to rental increases.”

Gail Ruggles, Vice President of Operation at Gables Residential. Green for All: How to sell a rent increase without alienating your residents, HousingFinance.com, 7-24-2012.

“We wanted to rent a flat in London for three days, so we researched and chose a very nice-looking apartment in Stratford, next to the Olympic park. The pictures of the apartment were beautiful: very modern, bright and pristine…but it was a far cry from what was represented in the flat description and pictures.

Frank Leibsly, Olympic tourist. A vacation rental too good to be true, the Washington Post, 7-25-2012.

“The landlord is not providing any alternative accommodation. If she doesn’t leave for that time, apparently he would look to increase her rent to make up for the income he thinks he could get during the Olympics.”

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive at homeless charity Shelter. The East End tenants facing eviction during the Olympics, The Guardian, 7-26-2012.

The share of empty U.S. homes for rent fell to its lowest level in a decade during the second quarter…The residential rental vacancy rate declined to 8.6 percent from 8.8 percent in the January-March period.” 

Jason Lange, Reuters correspondant. U.S. vacancy rate falls to lowest in decade, Reuters.com, 7-27-2012.

It appears that the future apartment market is bright, given two key traits characterizing the rising echo boom generation—not only are they considered to be one of the most educated in the nation…they are also likely to be saddled with high levels of debt upon entry into the workforce.

Erica Champion, Washington Post business writer. Younger generation’s debt keeps them renting, WashingtonPost.com, 7-28-2012.

“We already had a relationship going with the management so they made the transition to buying easier for us. We knew exactly what to expect with the apartment, plus we knew the staff and the property manager.”

Sanjay Gupta, homeowner. Test Driving Condos Before Buying, the Wall Street Journal, 7-29-12.

“We will soon know if this is just a one-month blip or if it looks like there will be further softening in the second half of the year, though by historical standards we are still in a strong effective rent growth market,” said Jay Denton, vice president of research for Axiometrics.

Jay Denton, Vice President of Research, Axiometrics. June Apartment Market Results Soften Slightly, Marketwatch, 7-30-2012.

“I have trouble thinking of any other market that is as prone to booms and busts as the real estate market. What makes this one a little bit different is that it’s almost the echo of a very large bust, meaning that what is causing the rental boom is the mirror of the housing bust.”

Stan Humphries, Chief Economist at Zillow. Multifamily/commercial mortgage originations swell 25% in 2Q, Housingwire, 7-31-2012.

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