There may be more rental properties in development in Columbus, Ohio, but rent prices are still on the rise. According to Rent Jungle, the average apartment rent in Columbus is $854, up from $809 a year ago. Of course, the fact that rents are rising and rental properties are becoming more difficult to find in Columbus is not exactly news to renters or property managers.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the local rental market has tightened significantly in the last year. A recently published report found that vacancy rates in Columbus are now at about seven percent, down from almost nine percent one year ago. Available renter properties are now increasingly more difficult to find. This has proven to be particularly true in the in-demand Downtown area.
Why Rental Properties are So in Demand in Columbus
While there has been a veritable explosion of new rental properties coming online Columbus and the surrounding area in the last few years, it does not seem to have stemmed the rising demand. One of the reasons for this is that although the housing market in Columbus entered the recovery phase a few years ago, there was a slight change. Most of the new housing entering the market is now available for rent rather than for purchase. For the first time in two decades, there were more apartments constructed in Columbus and the surrounding area last year than single-family homes. Also contributing to the problem is the fact that the number of rental households in the greater Columbus area increased by almost nine percent between 2009 and 2013.
At the same time, the number of owner-occupied homes declined by more than nine percent. Such transitions are largely driven by the vast number of people who either are not able to afford the purchase of a home or who lost their home during the economic recession. There are also many people in Columbus who simply prefer to rent than to buy. This is largely the case with the increasing youthful population in Columbus who relocate to the city for work and prefer to rent for a longer period of time than previous generations. Often referred to as Millennials, this demographic tends to put off making decisions such as marrying, starting a family, and taking out a mortgage for longer. Consequently, more developers are now specifically catering to this group by offering a range of luxury amenities, such as wood floors, granite countertops, and easy walkability to grocery stores, restaurants, offices, and coffee shops. Prices in popular areas of Columbus now reflect the addition of such amenities. For instance, in areas like Downtown, rental prices can go as high as $2,000 per month. Among the most expensive neighborhoods in which to rent in Columbus are Italian Village, Victorian Village, and the Downtown area.
Effectively Managing Properties in a Landlord Market
With rental prices rising and vacancy rates declining, Columbus is now fully entrenched in a market that favors landlords. As a result, property owners must ensure they conduct due diligence in order to choose the right tenant for their property. In situations in which there are numerous applicants for a single available property, there can often be a temptation to simply filly the property as quickly as possible. Yet, doing so can lead to disaster. One way to avoid such potential problems is to conduct a comprehensive tenant screening and background check through a service like VerticalRent.