(Kim Hairston / Baltimore…)
Apartment rents keep heading up.
The average effective rent for Class A apartments in the Baltimore metro area -- the nicer properties with amenities -- rose 5.7 percent in the last year to just under $1,450 a month, according to real estate research firm Delta Associates.
The big increase was in the city, up 6.7 percent -- more than double the annual average for the past five years. Effective rents in the Baltimore suburbs grew by a more modest 3.5 percent, just a hair more than the average, Delta said.
Delta tracks effective rent as a way of noting what tenants are actually paying, once specials such as "one week free!" are factored in.
"Healthy job growth and a limited supply in recent quarters have led to healthy rent growth and low vacancy in the Baltimore area," Delta said in a new report.
(The metro area has been averaging annual growth of 16,000 jobs so far this year, a bit more than during the same stretch in 2007, before the recession. But May, the most recent figure, didn't look good. We'll have to stay tuned to see whether it's a trend.)
Here's a bit of hope for tenants feeling the rent pinch: Builders have picked up the pace on construction new apartment units in the area, which could help shift the demand-supply seesaw in your favor.
A bit. Eventually.
Delta predicts that "vacancy will edge up slightly and rent growth is likely to moderate over the next 24 months."
Because Delta only follows the Class A market, your mileage may vary if you're renting (or renting out) an older apartment, a unit in a small building or a home. The Class A apartments in Baltimore -- clustered around downtown and the waterfront -- are in a totally different market than, say, rentals on the east side.
What are you seeing out there?
Got a housing news tip or experience to share? (Or just want to tell me something?) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org