For renters seeking available properties in Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the search may be tougher than they expected. For instance, in Erie County, the number of renters has been on the rise in the last few years. This is particularly true in the college town of Edinboro, where almost 60 percent of the population rents. The City of Erie itself is also experiencing a rapid rise in the number of people who live in rented properties, increasing from under 40 percent in 1990 to more than 45 percent in 2010. Despite low interest rates and an improving job market, Erie is still experiencing a broad trend that points to a lower number of first-time homebuyers and a higher number of renters.
Why The Number of Renters Is on the Rise
Due to the increasing number of renters, it has become increasingly difficult to locate available rental properties. Between 2007 and 2013, the rental vacancy rate in Erie County declined from a peak of 11 percent to six percent. At the same time, rental rates have continued to increase, rising by almost five percent, compared to a national increase of less than one percent. Even more importantly is the fact that renters in Erie are now paying a larger portion of their total income toward housing, jumping by about two percent in the last few years.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the story is much the same. Currently, the average asking rent in Pittsburgh is $1,018, according to Rent Jungle. This is an increase from $976 just a year ago. Among the most expensive neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are Squirrel Hill, North Shore, and the North and Central Business Districts.
Attracting Quality Tenants in Rising Rental Markets
While landlords in areas such as Erie and Pittsburgh, where available properties are in high demand, typically do not have a problem attracting tenants, it is still important to conduct due diligence in choosing the right tenant. Among the best ways to do so is to ensure that you project a completely professional image. With more and more consumers opting to communicate and access information from their smartphones today, landlords may find it beneficial to take advantage of the opportunity manage their rental applications via the cloud.
With a service like VerticalRent, it becomes possible to create a pipeline of prospects who can be contacted instantly in the future in the event you should have a vacancy become available. In many instances, in an in-demand market like Erie or Pittsburgh, landlords will have a number of applications they must reject simply because they do not have enough available properties to meet the current demand. By storing rental applications in the cloud, landlords can quickly search those applications when a unit becomes available and then text a mobile-friendly URL to those applicants. This makes it possible for applicants to message landlords directly. With this service, landlords can even encourage current tenants to help spread the word about available properties.