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Study: Twin Cities Apt. Vacancy Rate One Of The Lowest

By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The apartment market in the Twin Cities is taking off, but not necessarily to a renter's advantage. A new report from GVA Marquette Advisors said the apartment vacancy rate in the Twin Cities is at a two year low.

In fact, Minneapolis is seeing such a boom in the apartment rental market, it has the second highest occupancy rate in the country, according to an AXIOMetrics Inc. study.

Dan Ridge is ready to make a change.

"I'd like to get into a place before July 1," said Dan Ridge, who is looking for a new apartment.

He starts a new job next week. Along with a new career, he wants a new place to live.

"Just looking to get an apartment close to work," Ridge said.

Ridge is apartment hunting at a time when availability is at its lowest in years. According to GVA Marquette Advisors, a company that tracks apartment trends, the vacancy rate in the Twin Cities is at 3 percent. That's down from 6 percent this time last year.

"I look at, a lot, and there are always places on there. A lot of them have one place remaining, two places remaining," Ridge said.

Heritage Landing Property Manager Jenny Noll has seen a huge increase in traffic, as many as six potential renters a day.

"It's definitely a good piece of traffic," Ridge said.

Noll said the boom started at the end of last year. Noll thinks the foreclosure crisis may have had some impact.

"People wanted to simplify their life and start renting again," Noll said.

With fewer options, it ultimately means apartment shoppers may have to spend more time online and act quickly when they find a rental that works.

"I've watched a few of the postings I've liked and seen them taken down within a day or two," Ridge said.

The low vacancy rate also means renters aren't getting the same deals they were a year ago. Many property management companies are getting rid of the concessions like first month's rent free or utilities included.

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