Are you going to be looking for rooms to rent this year? Perhaps you’re looking to move areas, relocate jobs, are going off to college or simply fancy a change of scenery. Whatever your reason for needing to rent a room, you’re going to need to start saving. Here is a look at how rental trends are set to playout.
Looking for Rooms for Rent? Start Saving
Rental rates have continued to rise year on year and while the rental vacancies seem to have steadily decreased since the housing bubble burst, Renting is still a lot more affordable than buying your own home in a lot of markets, this idyllic storm of low supply and high demand is putting a major dent in renter’s budgets.
What the Surveys Have Reported
Rent.com undertook a survey of 500 property managers for their 2015 Property Owner and Manager Report. What they found was information that will help renters with what to expect in the next year, and what should help them prepare for what’s to come in terms of rental hikes. Spoiler alert: those hikes aren’t going anywhere.
Since Rent.com’s first report back in 2009, rental rates have continued to rise. A whopping 88 percent of property managers have reported to have raised their rent in the past 12 months, with increased demand and low inventory cited as the primary reasons for rental rate increases.
What’s more, 68 percent of property managers have predicted that rental rates are going to keep rising in the next year by an average of at least 8 percent. This is a 2 percent increase over an estimated 6 percent rent hike that property managers predicted in 2014.
If you’re looking for rooms to rent this year, take heed of these top tips for navigating your way through the tough rental market to find the perfect place, at a price you can comfortably afford.
- Start Searching Smartly
Be sure to use a trusted and reputable site to look for your room or apartment. By making use of listing services that offer HD photographs, verified reviews and even 3D floor plans, you can be smarter about your search. This can also help you cut down on the time spent looking for places that best suit your budget and needs.
- Be Sure to Check Out the Competition
While the rental rates are on the rise, make sure you check the rental prices in similar apartments in the neighborhood you’re looking to move to. This will give you a good indication if the room you’re looking at is fairly priced, but can also give you negotiation power when signing the lease.
- Start Looking Now
It’s actually offseason for looking for rooms to rent. So this means you may hit a few barriers in terms of availability, but you’re a lot more likely to get a lease for less.
- Use a Guarantor or Cosigner
As a result of the ever-increasing rental rates, just under 50 percent of property managers have reported seeing an increase in the amount of applicants who aren’t meeting income requirements on their own and therefore need a guarantor. But 56 percent of property managers have reported that the increase in demand hasn’t made them more selective of potential tenants. If you’ve found a room or apartment you love, it’s not necessarily out of your grasp if you don’t have amazing credit or at least a high income-to-rent ratio.
- You’re Going to Have to Sacrifice
Most property managers agree that they are less likely to offer lower rentals or concessions to fill vacancies than they have in past years.
Vacancy Rates Are Set to Rise Too
Here’s a tip: not only are rental rates spiking, vacancy rates are also going to rise this year, and that’s bound to knock the wind out of landlord’s sails while also removing some of their ability to keep pushing rental growth.
Location, quality and price – you’re going to have to pick two. If you want to save money, you’re going to have to sacrifice on location (such as moving further away from the city center), or quality (amenities or the size of the apartment). If your potential landlord or property manager is willing to negotiate on the price of rooms to rent, try signing a longer lease term at a lower rate or even paying more upfront in security. But, with today’s low inventory and high demand, you’re going to have to be prepared to settle.