For the first time in a while, apartment vacancies are down all over the country. Naturally, this means that rent prices are rising, which doesn’t make absolutely everyone happy (yours truly included).
Nonetheless, recovery is recovery – and while we don’t want to speculate too much, full apartment complexes could point to an improved job market, particularly for single people and younger, less-experienced workers. These are a demographic who’ve been hit especially hard by the recession, as they’ve been unable to lean on a spouse for support or to compete for jobs with those who happened to enter the workforce a few years earlier, when the economy was in full bloom. These are also the people who tend, historically, to rent – and to move in with friends or family when things fall apart. If in fact these apartments are filling up with singles and young people who can now afford to live independently, it’s great news for the economy.
If, however, these apartments are filling up with former homeowners who just can’t make ends meet anymore, it’s not such great news. The fact that the Wall Street Journal reports that, “Rents increased in some markets hardest hit by the housing crash”, isn’t entirely encouraging for the economy at large.
What IS encouraging is the message being sent to those who can afford to buy: now’s a great time, and it may only get better.