28% of Orlando-Area Housing Units Vacant

January 27th, 2010

Via: Orlando Sentinel:

Orlando had more vacant houses, condos and apartments than any other major U.S. city during the third quarter, driving down rents and sparking landlord concessions just five years after finding an apartment was virtually impossible.

The four-county metro area had a vacancy rate of 28 percent for all housing in the late summer months of 2009, according to the newest U.S. census information. Orlando’s vacancies surpassed those of any of the other top 75 metropolitan areas in the country.

The information, drawn from a sampling with a 7 percent margin of error, is yet another indicator of the magnitude of the housing slump in this market. The Orando area has the nation’s 11th-highest foreclosure rate and what may be the country’s largest drop in condo prices.

The abundance of vacant foreclosures and condominiums for rent has created a new market for tenants, driving the vacancy rate at established apartment complexes to 12 percent — its highest level in decades.

Local experts talk of rent reductions and unprecedented concessions, with some landlords offering months of free rent. Apartment-complex managers who would have shunned foreclosure victims in the past are now more willing to overlook that transgression on applicants’ credit histories. Still others are offering prospective tenants deals on parking and storage.

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