Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

10%-Plus Vacancy Predicted for County Multi-Family Units / for at Least 24 Months

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

10%-Plus Vacancy Predicted for County Multi-Family Units / for at Least 24 Months

Article excerpt

Vacancy rates for multi-family rental units in Oklahoma County have been at the 15 - 16 percent level "for over one year, and should continu e above 10 percent for at least the next 24 months," according to a report by Housing and Urban Development economists.

This "soft market," as HUD officials are referring to it, is expected to continue two more years.

"An estimated 6,610 rental units would have to be absorbed in order to reduce the vacancy rate to 10 percent," the report said.

Wanda Webster, HUD economist, prepared the report, which is based on information gathered from the Apartment Association of Central Oklahoma.

Employment is the most important aspect when HUD economists make projections of the rental market in Oklahoma County, Kenneth Altizer, HUD economist, said Tuesday.

"For Oklahoma County, employment is the main thing that has to be considered in the number of rental vacancies. In Florida, for example, you don't just take employment into consideration," stated Altizer. "There is a lot of immigration and a population of retired people, and they play an important part in rental properties there, but here employment is the number one consideration."

Household growth rate has averaged about 7,000 households annually since 1980 in the county, with 3,050 renter and 3,950 owner households. During this same time period, the report stated, "total employment increased at an average annual rate of 6,500 jobs (2.4 percent)."

Estimating employment increases would average about 5,000 jobs per year for the next two years, the two HUD economists predict the area rental vacancy rate will be down to 10 percent by April, 1987.

The report probably comes as no suprise to anyone, Altizer said, but shows HUD's continuing policy concerning issuance of mortgage insurance for new multi-family rental properties.

"Anybody who reads the papers and keeps up with the apartment situation already knows what's going on, so there is really no suprise in what we found," Altizer said. …

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