Students will face tough market in search for housing options
Out of the dorms and into apartments. Students, do you know where you’re living next year?
Apartment vacancies in the city of Davis have decreased while rental rateshave slightly inched upward, according to a Fall survey conducted by UC Davis Student Housing and released last Feb. 15.
The 39th annual Apartment Vacancy and Rental Rate Survey collects data on vacancy and rental rates for rental units located within the Davis community and provides UC Davis students insight into planning housing arrangements for the upcoming year.
Student Housing partnered with BAE Urban Economics, an urban economics and development advisory practice based in Sacramento, to conduct the study, administering questions for the survey using an online survey tool, Survey Monkey.
“The administration of the 2014 survey primarily took place during the months of October and November,” according to Student Housing’s report. “The timing of the survey reflects the desire to capture information on housing market characteristics during peak occupancy.”
The survey presents responses from 134 apartment complexes and property management complexes, including The Colleges at LaRue, The Atriums, Russell Park, 8th and Wake and West Village.
According to the survey, the results of the report help campus officials assess the current housing market conditions faced by UC Davis students and adapt to the needs of a growing body of students.
The results of the survey showed that compared to last year’s 1.9 percent vacancy rate, this year shows a negligible vacancy rate of .3 percent, or 24 apartments leased by the unit out of total 8,274 apartments.
“In looking back over the past 10 years or so, the vacancy rate has fluctuated with the highest rate being 4.2 percent in 2005,” said Emily Galindo, executive director of Student Housing. “And this year’s rate of 0.3 percent being the lowest. If the rate were to remain this low, it does suggest that the market for students looking for apartments will be much tighter.”
According to the survey, a majority of respondents reported static or increasing rent. The average rental rate for all units was $1,414 per month, which represents a seven percent increase since 2013, when the average rental rate for unit-leased apartments was $1,321.
“Economists and urban planners consider a vacancy rate of 5 percent to the ideal balance between the interests of the landlord and tenant,” Galindo said. “With a rate significantly lower than 5 percent, it suggests that the landlord may have the advantage of setting rents higher because the supply is less than the demand.”
The survey also inquired into various amenities commonly offered by apartment complexes and found that complexes averaged at around one and a half parking spaces per unit. The majority of the complexes offered incentives and move-in specials in the 2014 leasing season to help fill vacancies and attract new residents, according to the report.
“We see a general trend that the larger bedroom apartments are harder to fill, so apartment complexes will provide incentives and use roommate finder tools to help students connect with roommates in order to fill in these vacancies,” Hernandez said.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu