WSJ: Rent Growth Showing Signs of Cooling Off

From the 4/3/2013 Wall Street Journal:

┬áThe nation’s average monthly rent came in at $1,054, up 0.5% from the previous quarter and up 3.4% from the year-earlier period, marking the slowest growth rate since the end of 2011, according to a report to be released Wednesday by Reis Inc., a real-estate research firm. The national vacancy rate, which hit 8% in the aftermath of the financial crisis, fell to 4.3% from 4.5% in the fourth quarter.

Landlords have profited in recent years amid a combination of stable supply as few new apartments were built and solid demand from consumers unable or unwilling to buy homes. Rental rates have climbed more than 9% since bottoming in late 2009…

Industry watchers are increasingly concerned that the multifamily apartment sector may have peaked. “There’s not a lot of room to keep pushing rents right now,” said Ryan Severino, a Reis senior economist. “It’s becoming unsustainable.”