Average asking rents at 76,000 apartments in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties rose to $924 in the first quarter of 2010 - the first hike after five straight quarters of declines, a new report says. The new figure is up from $915 in the fourth quarter of 2009. That was the lowest since late 2004.
But even with the hike rents at the region's largest apartment communities, rents remain at late 2005 levels now. Apartment brokers say the long period of declines have led to severe distress for owners who bought complexes at high housing boom prices. Some complexes are being unloaded to other investors through short-sales, in which banks accept less than their owed. Others have become bank-owned.
We'll be checking with brokers today to see what is driving the slight increase in asking rents. But the report notes that occupancy is up a little - to 92.6 percent across the region. It was 92.1 percent in Q4 2009. Higher occupancy rates give a little more bargaining power to landlords.
Novato-based apartment industry tracker said it saw the same rise in rents across much of the United States. It attributed the improvements to modest gains in employment nationally.
It's hard to imagine that's the case regionally. Sacramento's unemployment picture remains grim, with 13.1 percent joblessness. Analysts say apartment communities are feeling pressure of people having an abundance of vacant homes to rent - and also doubling up or moving back with their parents in a rough economy.
Here's details straight from RealFacts:
First, a synopsis of the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville MSA.