U.S. apartment vacancy rate edges up in fourth quarter: Reis

(Reuters) – U.S. apartment vacancy rate edged up in fourth quarter, with vacancy rising in 35 of 79 metros, real estate research firm Reis Inc said on Thursday.

The vacancy rate was 4.7%, up 0.1% from the third quarter and marginally down from 4.8% a year earlier.

“The overall economy has improved in the last few months following a rough summer when the trade war escalated, and the yield curve inverted,” Reis said in a statement.

Both the national average asking rent and effective rent, excluding landlord concessions, increased 0.5% to $1,498 per unit and $1,426 per unit, respectively, from the previous quarter, the research firm said.

Net absorption fell 61.8% to 21,500 units in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, while new construction dropped 54.7% to 30,159 units.

“Given the recent settling of interest rates and a near closure of a ‘phase one’ trade deal, the outlook for 2020 looks more promising than it has in more than a year,” Reis said.

(Reporting by Dominic Roshan K. L.; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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