Austin
4:41 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Renting? Good Luck Finding a Place!

Having trouble finding a place to rent? You’re definitely not alone.

A steady stream of people moving to Central Texas has made finding an apartment more difficult. U.S. Census Bureau data released in June ranked Round Rock second and Austin third on a list of the fastest-growing large cities in the country.

Capitol Market Research, which studies the area’s rental market, says there are barely enough apartment units in the Austin-area to keep up with demand. It says the average rent on a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment is now about $1,100 a month.

Leonard Guerrero is chairman of the Austin Board of Realtors. He says the current market is unusual.

“The rental marketplace is very hot right now,” Guerrero says. “The apartment occupancy rate is at 97.8 percent.  That’s the highest it’s been in 21 years.”

Regent Property Group says many people are looking for rentals downtown and in the 78704 zip code.

There are about 175 thousand apartment units in Austin. Ten-thousand more units are either planned or currently under construction.

But the high interest in rentals doesn’t mean people aren’t buying homes. The Austin Board of Realtors says home sales were up in July for the 14th straight month.