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Home arrow News arrow Southwest Florida Rental Market All Whacked Out
Southwest Florida Rental Market All Whacked Out Print E-mail
Monday, 07 August 2006
When demand is high in the affordable segment, the supply in apartments and rental homes are getting tight. However, on the higher end of the market, many properties long for tenants.

In the market, when properties increase, consumers turn to condominiums and converted apartments. Many landlords who are neophytes in the market believe that it would be easy to rent their properties at prices that would cover their costs until it was time to sell.

Al Holmes, the president of the Sarasota Landlords Association, said that he believes that the market will eventually adjust on these situations.  However, during these times, low-end renters and landlords who bought properties at high prices are going to get their butts kicked.

In Sarasota County, evidence of the disequilibrium in the real estate market can be most clearly seen. Average occupancy in Sarasota County apartment complexes also dropped to 90.7% in the second quarter of 2006 from 98.2 during the same period a year earlier.

Sue Louis, senior vice president for Coldwell Banker's Sarasota Bay region, said that they had several apartment complexes that were converted to condos in 2005 and that took apartments out of the market. She said that the units remain empty as renters refuse to pay such high prices.

Analysts of Holmes of the Sarasota Landlords Association say that one way to resolve the glut would be for owners to sell their properties and get out of the rental business. Sales have slowed sharply and the real estate market is flooded with inventory.

Reports also showed that instead of making money, landlords see money going out. Single-family also showed strength. However, there are some who believes that the market for single-family home rentals is strengthening while there is chronic disequilibrium in the market for condo rentals.

Investors started buying homes earlier than condos and have had more time to come to terms with the realities of the rental business -- the main one being that rents are set by the market and not the landlord.

Holmes of the Sarasota Landlords Association said that they are getting 5 percent increases in rent this year over last year in renewals, while vacant property is going up by 10 percent. They reported that many people still want to put property on the rental market. Rentals go hand in hand with sales. When sales are slower, rentals pick up.

By M. Sese

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